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Cal Poly ranks first in the nation in study abroad survey 

Cal Poly

Institute of International Education shares data during ‘International Education Week’

– Cal Poly sent the most students on study abroad experiences among master’s-level institutions, according to the Institute of International Education’s annual statistical survey of U.S. campuses for the 2019-20 academic year released today in celebration of International Education Week.

“Study abroad at Cal Poly remains an integral aspect of our students’ degree programs and reflects the global mindset of our students, faculty and staff,” said Cari Vanderkar, Cal Poly’s senior international officer and assistant vice provost for international programs. “We are thrilled by the ranking and look forward to our continued strong participation in study abroad and international education generally as the world navigates out of the pandemic.”

Since 2000, Cal Poly has ranked as a top sender in the nation among master’s-level universities for internationally bound students.

In 2019-20 year, the most current numbers available, Cal Poly sent 863 students abroad to 46 nations (including some multi-country programs). Participation was through Winter 2020, as study abroad was suspended worldwide in March 2020 because of the COVID-19 pandemic. In 2018-19, Cal Poly sent more than 1,200 students abroad. Study abroad resumed in Fall 2021, with around 150 Cal Poly students currently abroad.

In the past two decades, the university also has ranked in the top 10 among those who study abroad for long-term (an academic year). For mid-length programs, which run for a semester or a quarter, Cal Poly ranked first in the nation for the third straight year with 786 participants. It has ranked in the top eight since 2004-05.

International Education Week (IEW), Nov.15-19, celebrates the benefits of international education and exchange worldwide. This joint initiative of the U.S. Department of State and the U.S. Department of Education promotes programs that prepare Americans for a global environment and attract future leaders from abroad to study, learn, and exchange experiences.

Cal Poly is celebrating International Education Week with a host of events to provide opportunities for the campus community to learn more about study abroad, international perspectives and participate in educational and cultural programming. A full list of events is available at

Cal Poly’s vision for internationalization is to provide foundational experiential learning, teaching, service and scholarship opportunities at home and abroad that will best equip graduates and the campus community at large to solve complex global challenges sustainably, ethically and inclusively.

The Institute of International Education is the leading not-for-profit educational and cultural exchange organization in the U.S. It has conducted the Open Doors Report annual survey since 1919, and since the early 1970s, it has been aided by support from the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. Open Doors surveys about 2,000 U.S. universities and colleges with study abroad programs.

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News staff of the A-Town Daily News wrote and edited this article from local contributors and press releases. Scott Brennan is the publisher of this newspaper and founder of Access Publishing. Connect with him on , Twitter, LinkedIn, or follow his blog. He can be reached at

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