Students benefit from international experience

A decreasing amount of Minnesota students are taking advantage of study abroad programs.

Daily Editorial Board

They say travel is the only thing you buy that makes you richer. Unfortunately, a lot of students either canâÄôt afford to study abroad or canâÄôt fit it into their four-year graduation plan. The cost to spend even a short amount of time abroad is intimidating for students paying for their own tuition, especially as the price of college continues to rise. Fewer students attending Minnesota colleges and universities are studying abroad, according to a report released by the Institute of International Education. The number of students traveling abroad has decreased 7.3 percent over the past three years. While the University of Minnesota has nearly doubled its study abroad participants in the past decade, and St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minn., sends more students to study internationally than any other school in the nation, Minnesota has fallen out of the top-10 states sending students abroad. The number of students studying abroad at Minnesota State University-Mankato fell almost 40 percent from previous years. Encouraging and helping students who want to study, work, complete an internship or volunteer while in another country should be a top priority for the University. Travel programs should be able to fulfill requirements for more majors and minors, and each field of study should have a semester available for students wishing to experience another country while continuing the path to graduation. With any amount of travel time, young adults can have both an exciting and meaningful experience they can include on their résumé. Minnesota students, with the help of their school, should take advantage of the freedom, time and resources they have while in college to travel abroad.