STAMFORD, Conn., March 7, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The American Institute For Foreign Study (AIFS) has joined the Institute of International Education (IIE)'s Generation Study Abroad, a five-year initiative that brings leaders in education, business and governments together to double the number of U.S. college students studying abroad.
IIE has already identified more than 150 strategic partners who have committed to specific, measurable actions that will help reach this ambitious goal. AIFS, one of the largest and most respected cultural exchange companies in the world, is the first study abroad organization among the committed partners of Generation Study Abroad.
To commemorate and further this initiative, AIFS is offering Generation Study Abroad scholarships, providing more than $250,000 for students to participate on their semester and summer programs. Through these scholarships and similar efforts, the result will be thousands more American students graduating with the international experience necessary for success in a globalized world.
According to the Open Doors Report on International and Educational Exchange released by IIE last November with support from the U.S. Department of State's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, a little more than 283,000 students studied abroad in 2011/12. That number grew from 262,000 students from 2007/08, an increase of just 1%. In light of this modest increase and increasingly stagnant growth, Generation Study Abroad aims to grow participation in study abroad so that the annual total reported will reach 600,000 over the next five years through the end of the decade.
"As we celebrate our 50th year of providing unforgettable study abroad experiences, we are excited to join IIE in the quest to significantly increase the number of U.S. college students studying abroad," states William L. Gertz, President and CEO of AIFS. "With the growing demand for students to compete in the worldwide marketplace, studying abroad is more critical than ever. The combined resources and networks brought together through Generation Study Abroad will ensure that many more students will study abroad in the years to come. We are very proud to participate in this initiative and to support IIE with this very important goal."
Among the committed partners are large state and private universities, liberal arts colleges, community colleges and historically black colleges and universities and other minority serving institutions. The U.S. Department of State's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs and several foreign governments have also pledged to support the goals of the initiative. Recognizing the importance of an internationally focused workforce, IIE is also actively seeking the participation of corporations and the business community.
For more information on AIFS' Generation Study Abroad Scholarships, visit www.aifsabroad.com/scholarships.asp. For more information about IIE's Generation Study Abroad initiative, visit www.iie.org/Programs/Generation-Study-Abroad
AIFS offers study abroad programs in Argentina, Australia, Austria, Brazil, Chile, China, Costa Rica, Czech Republic, England, France, Germany, Greece, India, Ireland, Italy, New Zealand, Russia, South Africa, Spain and Turkey. All AIFS programs are comprehensive and include housing, meals, transcripts, insurance and built-in cultural activities and excursions. Additional scholarships and financial aid are also available.
As a leader in cultural exchange, AIFS sends more than 5,000 students abroad each year. Since its founding in 1964, AIFS has been committed to providing students with the safest, most enjoyable and highest quality educational programs. AIFS celebrates a proud history of providing opportunities to the international education community. Over 1.5 million people from nearly 1,500 colleges and universities have participated in AIFS programs.
CONTACT: Mike Liberty, AIFS (203) 399-5187 email@example.com
Source:American Institute for Foreign Study