UW–Madison listed as top 25 university for study abroad and international students

Bascom Hall

The University of Wisconsin–Madison continues to be a leader in international engagement.

UW–Madison moved up three spots, from #18 to #15, on the 2020 Open Doors Report’s ranking of U.S. universities and colleges for total students studying abroad. The report is published by the Institute of International Education in partnership with the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs and includes all UW–Madison U.S. Citizen/Permanent Resident degree-seeking student credit-bearing activity outside of the U.S. for academic year 2018–2019.

The number of UW–Madison students studying abroad increased to 2,547 during the 2018–2019 academic year. Open Doors listed 2,410 UW–Madison students studying abroad during the 2017–2018 academic year. In addition to its overall ranking for study abroad among all U.S. universities and colleges, UW–Madison was listed as #4 for semester-long program participation.

UW–Madison also maintained a strong ranking for number of international students. The university is listed as #24 for the 2019–2020 academic year. UW–Madison was #21 on the 2018–2019 listing.

“I am proud to see UW–Madison recognized as a top university for international engagement,” said Guido Podestá, vice provost and dean of the International Division. “However, rankings tell only part of the story. What is more remarkable is that the university community continues to draw an accomplished cohort of international scholars, while also integrating more international aspects into the UW–Madison experience, whether they are taking place outside the U.S. or right here in Wisconsin.”

Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, opportunities for students, faculty, and staff to travel internationally have been put on hold, but global engagement has continued in earnest. Researchers and units across campus have been involved in developing solutions and capacity building for partners around the world to fight COVID-19 and address other global problems; students continue to study and intern abroad via virtual options; myriad lectures and activities highlighting regions across the globe occur on a daily basis; and countless courses, programs, and activities with an international focus are available to Badgers.

“During a global crisis it is more important than ever to cultivate cross-cultural learning and relationships,” said Podestá. “The university community will be eager to re-engage in person, but in the meantime it is impressive to see the creativity and innovation that have adapted global engagement for the current conditions.”