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 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Thursday, May 16, 2002
Bruce Hanna, UC Education Abroad Program (805) 893-4259
bhanna@eap.ucop.edu

Interest in education abroad surges following 9/11

Despite concerns raised by the events of Sept. 11, the University of California's Education Abroad Program appears to be headed for a 20 percent increase in enrollment, program director John A. Marcum reported today (May 16).

Since Sept. 11, 2001, 5,700 students have requested applications for overseas study. Based on current monitoring and past patterns, 3,400 of those students will actually enroll during the 2002-03 academic year to make up the 20 percent jump from 2001-02, Marcum said.

More than 50 percent of the students are expected to study in Europe, including more than 500 in Spain and more than 400 in the United Kingdom. Additional large contingents of students will study in China and Japan through the auspices of the Education Abroad Program (EAP).

"EAP expands the context and content of learning by exposing students to the challenges of diverse languages and intellectual traditions, other approaches to knowledge and different cultural assumptions," Marcum said. "The program develops internationally aware citizens and enhances the potential of students to understand, respond to and contribute to a rapidly changing world."

Students are taking advantage of new options of studying abroad for a semester, or a summer rather than a whole year abroad, Marcum said.

The latest figures reflect a pattern of large year-to-year enrollment growth that has been underway for more than a decade. Enrollment in UC's Education Abroad Program has doubled since 1990, and since the 1999-2000 academic year, enrollment has increased by an average of 16 percent per year. The tempo increased in 2001-02, when the program grew approximately 19 percent from the previous year.

Increased Education Abroad Program enrollment, along with increased summer enrollment and an expanded program in Washington, D.C., are among the strategies being used by the University of California to address an expected systemwide enrollment increase of approximately 60,000 students in the decade between 2000 and 2010.

The University of California opened its first education abroad study center at the University of Bordeaux in France in 1962. Since then, nearly 40,000 UC students have studied in more than 150 universities in nearly 50 countries.

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