Published on December 4, 2012 by Sean Flynt
The IIE honor didn’t catch Samford International Programs director David Shipley by surprise. “Since 2010, we have increased study abroad participation at Samford by 30 percent,” Shipley said. “I have attempted to create a flexible and creative atmosphere for study abroad that includes home-grown faculty-led courses, international student exchanges and student participation in third party provider programs.”
Shipley said the growth of Samford’s International Programs growth runs counter to a national trend. “During that same time period, national study abroad participation flat-lined at approximately a 1.3 percent increase,” he said. “Nationally, study abroad has plateaued, and now international educators are asking, "where do we go from here?."
With student mobility restricted for many reasons, staying home may be the new going somewhere. “While our numbers have increased dramatically through innovative programming by our faculty, there will surely be a plateau in our future,” Shipley said. “At that point we will have to look at ways of achieving our international goals without using an intercontinental airline.” Shipley said new directions for Samford and other institutions are likely to include innovative ways to provide international exposure at home, including greater international emphasis across the curriculum.
Founded in 1919, the Institute of International Education is a private nonprofit leader in the international exchange of people and ideas. In collaboration with governments, foundations and other sponsors, IIE creates programs of study and training for students, educators and professionals from all sectors. These programs include the flagship Fulbright Program and Gilman Scholarships administered for the U.S. Department of State. IIE also conducts policy research, provides resources on international exchange opportunities and offers support to scholars in danger.
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About Samford University – Samford University is a premier nationally ranked private university deeply rooted in its Christian mission. Founded in 1841, Samford is the 87th oldest institution of higher education in the United States. U.S. News & World Report ranks Samford 4th among regional universities in the South. Samford enrolls 5,619 students from 44 states, the District of Columbia and 29 other countries in its 10 academic units: arts, arts and sciences, business, divinity, education, health professions, law, nursing, pharmacy, and public health. Samford also fields 17 NCAA Division I teams that compete in the tradition-rich Southern Conference.