Study abroad numbers on the rise

The University of MinnesotaâÄôs goal is to have 50 percent of students get an international experience. Based on numbers released Monday, theyâÄôre getting closer to that goal. The University has increased its number of students who have studied abroad and ranks fourth in the nation with those numbers, according to information published by the Institute of International Education on Monday. âÄúWe continue to be so thrilled with the level to which the value of an international experience is being reflected in the student numbers,âÄù interim Learning Abroad director Martha Johnson said. With 2,079 study abroad students in 2006-2007, the University trails only New York University, Michigan State University and the University of Texas-Austin. In recent years, the University has added several January term programs and a cost-effective Argentina program to offer more options for sending students abroad. âÄúWe continue to see excellent growth across a variety of program types, which is a big commitment in our office,âÄù Johnson said. University thanks professors for global engagement As a part of International Education Week, which begins on Monday, the University will have a ceremony on Wednesday to recognize faculty and staff for their role in global engagement. The four award winners will each receive an award sculpture, $2,000 for the next three years and the title of Distinguished International Professor. âÄúOur faculty and staff are doing important international work here and around the world,âÄù Dean of International Programs Meredith McQuaid said in a press release. Two award recipients, co-director of the International Medical Education and Research program Phil Peterson and director of International Programs in Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Science John Vreyens, said they were both surprised to receive the award. Paul Quie, the other IMER co-director, and Mahmood Zaidi, founding director emeritus of international programs in the Carlson School of Management, also received the award. âÄúI feel very honored, because I am the first individual from our college to receive the award,âÄù Vreyens said, who works in the College of Food and Natural Resource Sciences . Vreyens has had a hand in nearly doubling the number of CFANS students studying abroad from 65 in 2005-2006 to 106 in 2006-2007. In 2006-2007, CFANS also provided $31,525 more in international learning grants than the year before. With the money from the award, Vreyens said he is setting up a research account for some of the international activities for CFANS. The mission of the IMER program Peterson and Quie founded is to âÄúpromote an exchange of international educational, research and other scholarly opportunities for medical and graduate students and faculty.âÄù Peterson said the medical school has a goal to send all medical students abroad. âÄúThe world is not flat as it relates to health and health care,âÄù Peterson said. âÄúThere are major inequities in health care delivery around the world that are unacceptable.âÄù He said the monetary award will go into a fund to support the infrastructure in Tanzania and Uganda, where some University medical students travel. âÄúItâÄôs nice to get the award, but doing the job we do is the reward,âÄù Peterson said.