USD Joins Study Abroad Goal to Double Numbers

Image 2016 Cuba Trip USD students in Cuba.

VERMILLION, S.D. -- The University of South Dakota has joined an international effort to double the number of U.S. students who study in another country by 2020 to 600,000 students a year.

USD currently sends about 225 students overseas annually, and many others take domestic trips, said Eric Leise, assistant director for its Center for Academic & Global Engagement. Short-term and semester-long programs abroad are more popular than year-long commitments. Europe and Latin America are the most popular destinations.

Under a new partnership with the Institute of International Education’s Generation Study Abroad initiative, USD will: increase the number of international partnerships with overseas universities; use new marketing strategies aimed at underrepresented groups in study abroad; redesign pre-departure and reentry orientations and services to better integrate students’ overseas experiences into their education; and encourage the development and implementation of new faculty-led study abroad initiatives.

“As the flagship university in the state, we are dedicated to becoming a regional leader in the areas of diversity and inclusiveness,” said Jim Moran, Ph.D., USD provost and vice president for academic affairs. “We recognize the importance of graduating globally aware students through coursework with international components, as well as research and service opportunities.”

More than 400 colleges and universities worldwide have committed to specific goals to increase the number of U.S. students studying abroad. Currently, fewer than 10 percent of all U.S. college students study in another country at some point in their academic career, according to the Open Doors Report on International and Educational Exchange.


USD’s Center for Academic & Global Engagement (CAGE) gives students the chance to gain real-world experience and knowledge and connect with their community and the larger world. CAGE offers academically based opportunities that create skills employers and graduate schools seek. Among them: off-campus service-learning programs, studying abroad, student exchange, undergraduate research and nationally competitive awards and fellowships. CAGE also provides support to international students with cultural and academic adjustments as well as immigration concerns.


Founded in 1862 and the first university in the Dakotas, the University of South Dakota is the only public liberal arts university in the state, with 205 undergraduate and 73 graduate programs in the College of Arts & Sciences, School of Education, School of Law, Sanford School of Medicine, School of Health Sciences, Beacom School of Business and College of Fine Arts. With an enrollment of nearly 10,000 students and more than 400 faculty, USD has a 17:1 student/faculty ratio, and it ranks among the best in academics and affordability. USD’s 17 athletic programs compete at the NCAA Division I level.


Michael Ewald
USD News