WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (AP) — Purdue University officials hope paying
students up to $3,000 will lead to more of them to study abroad.
Fewer than 20 percent of Purdue students participate in international
study programs before graduating, and one of university President Mitch
Daniels' new initiatives is to increase that to one-third of some 30,000
undergrads, the Journal & Courier reported.
"Learning in another country is an educational necessity, and making study
abroad a core component of a Purdue education will help students grow,
learn and prepare themselves to make an impact in a global economy,"
The money will be available starting spring semester for qualified
undergraduates who complete a credit-bearing study-abroad program for a
semester or school year. Purdue will pay up to $1,000 to those who choose
a shorter program.
Suresh Garimella, Purdue's chief global affairs officer, said the cost of
traveling abroad discourages many students.
"We have a fairly good sense that at least one obstacle for them is the
financial one," Garimella said. "Maybe (this) pays for their ticket."
Along with the financial investment, school officials plan to make it
easier for students to go abroad by designating approved programs and
Karissa Raderstorf, associate director of undergraduate studies in the
School of Chemical Engineering, said the study abroad offerings for
science and engineering students have grown over time.
"For the engineering students, (study abroad) helps open the doors to
them," she said.
Short-term funding for the grants will come from Purdue's current budget,
Garimella said, though the university has not set a cap on how much it
will pay out.
The cost could approach $7 million a year if 30 percent of Purdue's
undergraduate students were to participate once during their college years
at the full $3,000 level.
"We're obviously starting an ambitious plan," Garimella said. "... In the
long run, if every one of our students wants to (participate), that would
be a wonderful problem to have."