This past February, Education in Ireland joined IIE´s Generation Study Abroad Initiative and committed to providing $100,000 for the project. Ireland’s Minister of Education and Skills, Jan O´Sullivan, T.D, stated that over the past ten years Ireland has been able to welcome over 60, 000 US students; as a result, according to IIE´s Open Doors Report on International and Educational Education, it has become the 9th most popular study abroad destination for American students. Now, as a lead signature partner of Generation Study Abroad, Ireland´s higher education system has found itself in a unique position that will allow it to showcase its universities and programs to a broader range of students.
Now you may be thinking, what if I don´t want to study in Ireland? Well not to worry! Education in Ireland is only 1 of the 67 international organizations who are currently committed partners of the Generation Study Abroad Initiative, in addition to 298 US universities.
What is the Generation Study Abroad Initiative?
This initiative was put into place by the Institute for International Education, a non-profit organization whose mission has been to promote international education and increase the quality and availability of programs since 1919. Basically, IIE has invested about $2 million to not only increase the number of US students who participate in study abroad and other international programs – but to double it by 2019. Data from the 2014 Open Doors Report revealed that about 289,408 American students studied abroad. Although this showed a 2% increase from the previous year, Generation Study Abroad Initiative´s goal is to raise the number to 600,000. IIE has chosen to have this 5 year initiative coincide with the celebration of its centennial in 2019.
The initiative plans to reach this goal by establishing strong and lasting collaborations between employers, governments, and organizations to create new incentives and programs that will encourage students interested in international education. This is to include the promotion and availability of non-traditional study abroad programs such as internships, service learning projects, and programs for non-credit purposes.
What does this mean for me as student?
When speaking about incentives and benefits for students, IIE is aware that funding can be an obstacle for many when considering different types of international education. So what this means for you is that, through the initiative and its committed partners, they hope to increase the amount of scholarships available to both high school and college students.
Education in Ireland´s recent collaboration is a great example of the movement that is occurring. According to Ireland´s Minister of Education, ¨The majority of the funding will be used to provide incentive grants to colleges and universities from across the United States, which the institutions will match and award as student scholarships which will be known as Ireland-IIE Generation Study Abroad Scholarships¨ This is a very promising step in the right direction for increasing student interest in studying in Ireland, and hopefully is a glimpse into what this initiative will achieve.
What do I do now?
As previously mentioned, Generation Study Abroad already has 298 US universities that are committed partners. You can find a list with their names here. If you find the name of your university, contact your school´s overseas or study abroad department to see what information they can provide you.
Scholarships are definitely the best way to go, but sometimes they just don’t cut it. Be sure to read up on what loan options we have for you!