UNC ranks 17th among U.S. universities for study abroad in 2019 ‘Open Doors’ report

A sign points the way to global opportunities at a Study Abroad Fair on campus. (photo by Kristen Chavez)
A sign points the way to global opportunities at a Study Abroad Fair on campus. (photo by Kristen Chavez)

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill ranks 17th among U.S. higher education institutions for the number of students earning credit for study abroad for the second year in a row, according to the Institute of International Education’s (IIE) 2019 Open Doors Report on International Educational Exchange. This ranking reflects credit-bearing activity conducted by students from all schools across the UNC-Chapel Hill campus, including short-term study abroad programs and medical and pharmaceutical rotations pursued abroad.

The Open Doors top-25 list is based on the total number of a higher education institution’s students who study abroad. According to Open Doors, the overall number of U.S. students studying abroad increased by 9,024 to 341,751 over the previous year. 2,416 Carolina undergraduate, graduate and professional students studied abroad in 2017-18. Among doctorate-granting universities, UNC-Chapel Hill ranks 19th for long-term studies abroad, 17th for mid-length studies abroad and 18th for short-term studies abroad.

With a long tradition of high participation rates in study abroad programs, 41% of UNC-Chapel Hill undergraduates study abroad before graduation, one of the highest rates for a public university in the U.S.

“I am delighted to see Carolina’s strong rankings for study abroad and determined to see further progress in the years to come,” said Barbara Stephenson, vice provost for global affairs and chief global officer. “Key to that progress will be overcoming the remaining barriers, including financial need, that keep our students from taking part in a transformative global experience. With the launch this year of the Global Guarantee, we at UNC are challenging ourselves to open a path to study abroad and other global experiences to all our undergraduates.”

IIE publishes Open Doors annually in conjunction with the U.S. Department of State Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. Founded in 1919, the IIE is a private not-for-profit leader in the global exchange of people and ideas. IIE creates programs of study and training for students, educators and professionals from all sectors in collaboration with governments, foundations and other sponsors. These programs include the flagship Fulbright Program and Gilman Scholarships administered for the U.S. Department of State. In addition, IIE conducts policy research, provides resources on international exchange opportunities and offers support to scholars in danger.