Participation in study abroad programs increased at KSU during the 2011-12 academic year, compared to the previous year. There were 612 participants in KSU study abroad programs during the 2011-12 academic year, compared to 518 participants during the previous year. Of the 612 study abroad participants, approximately 2/3 of those participants went on short-term programs, ranging in length from 10 days to 8 weeks. In particular, total participants on ‘faculty-led’ programs increased from 247 in 2010-11 to 292 in 2011-12. Faculty-led programs are popular amongst KSU students because participants travel with a group of KSU students and a KSU faculty member, and travel during fall break, winter-intersession, spring break, and during the summer. Additionally, faculty-led programs often travel to very diverse locations, including Brazil, China, South Africa, South Korea, and many other places. Participation in semester-long exchange programs also increased, from 71 students in 2010-11 to 84 students in 2011-12. Exchange programs are especially attractive to KSU students because the tuition charge for the program is applied at in-state rates, even for out-of-state students. Since tuition on exchange programs is charged at in-state rates, the cost for a study abroad ‘exchange’ program is often similar in price to what a student pays during a semester in Manhattan.
Across all study abroad programs at KSU during the 2011-12 academic year, Italy was the top destination, followed by Brazil, the Czech Republic, the United Kingdom, and Spain. In particular, Brazil & China have seen significant increases in participation amongst KSU students over the last 2 years. This mirrors national trends, where more and more students are seeking study abroad opportunities in locations outside of Western Europe.
The average student profile of a study abroad student at KSU is also very similar to the national study abroad student profile. Approximately 65% of KSU study abroad participants were female, which is nearly equal to the national average of 64% (IIE, Open Doors Report). 62% of KSU study abroad participants studied abroad during their junior or senior year, compared to 59% nationally (IIE, Open Doors Report). While the majority of study abroad participants at KSU are juniors or seniors, students at all levels participated in study abroad programs, including freshmen and graduate students. All colleges at KSU sent students abroad during the 2011-12 academic year, but the length and nature of study abroad programs vary college to college. The College of Architecture, Planning, & Design has the highest participation percentage amongst all colleges at KSU, while the College of Agriculture sends its students to a very diverse set of destinations, including Australia, South Africa, Brazil, and Germany, often on faculty-led programs. The College of Arts & Sciences sent the most students abroad with 126, followed closely behind by the College of Agriculture (125), and the College of Architecture, Planning, & Design (100).