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Report points to University’s growth in global connections

November 16, 2016

graphic showing international student numbers

The University is continuing to grow as a global university according to Open Doors 2016, an annual report on international education trends released by the Institute of International Education (IIE).

The release of IIE’s Open Doors report also marks the celebration of International Education Week (IEW), a joint initiative of the U.S. Department of State and the U.S. Department of Education to prepare Americans for a global environment and attract future leaders from abroad to study, learn, and exchange experiences in the United States. The University is hosting several IEW events on campus from Nov. 14-18—and beyond—to highlight the contributions that international students make to Rochester, as well as the opportunities for U.S. students to have a global educational experience through the Center for Education Abroad. The full list of IEW events can be found at:

According to Open Doors 2016, the University ranks No. 76 among the more than 1,500 institutions surveyed on their total international student enrollment. With 2,755 international students studying here in the 2015-16 academic year, international students represent about 25 percent of the total student body.

“International exchange is critical for our position as a leading global institution. We want to provide the best educational opportunities for our students and help our faculty foster productive research connections, and increasingly, this means engaging in a sustained and systematic way with other institutions throughout the world. We are working to build strong and strategic partnerships with peer institutions throughout the world,” says Jane Gatewood, vice provost for global engagement. Gatewood leads and manages initiatives related to the University’s global activities.

New York State is the second leading host state for international students, just behind California. Students coming to New York from international origins bring a positive economic impact of more than $3.8 billion statewide, according to the National Association of International Educators.

The Open Doors report also highlights the annual trends in U.S. students studying abroad. According to Open Doors, a total of 370 University students went abroad for an academic program in 2014-15, with most choosing to do so in their junior year. And in 2015-16, the estimated number is 425, according to data from the University’s Center for Education Abroad. A major expansion of abroad opportunities for Rochester students has created several new exchange partners in the United Kingdom, Asia and Australia.

“The focus of the University’s Education Abroad Office is expanding program options and helping to make it possible for any student to engage globally during their academic career here,” says Tynelle Stewart, assistant dean and director of the Center for Education Abroad.  “In addition to the traditional destinations, we are seeing Denmark as a trending location for our students going abroad, as well as an increased interest in short-term summer programs. And we’ve also seen many more of our engineering students take advantage of opportunities in places such as Hong Kong, Madrid, and Budapest, as well as an increase in their participation in the DAAD Rise (Research Internships in Science and Engineering) program in Germany. The University is also exploring membership in the Institute for International Education’s Global E3 program, which will add additional opportunities for our engineering student population.”

The strong interest in summer study abroad programs is also a national trend. According to Open Doors, 39 percent of students used a summer term for going abroad, with 31 percent choosing a semester program.

It is anticipated that the next five years will be a period of increasing international engagement for the University with the expansion of global partnerships in research and increased opportunities to study and intern abroad. More connections for research and exchange are being made with major universities globally, and existing partnerships are being strengthened to provide a more comprehensive experience for students.

For more information on the University’s global activities, visit:

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