WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) – The number of Purdue students studying abroad seems to be on the rise and it could all be thanks to one of President Mitch Daniels’ new initiatives.
“My brother and sister studied abroad, so I really wanted to get the experience too,” said Purdue student Rachel Wichlinski.
Wichlinski is in the process of applying to study abroad in Sweden this fall. She said it’s something she’s always wanted to do, but a new initiative that financially helps students study across seas has helped make it possible.
“I wasn’t sure that I’d be to financially support myself, but now, I know for a fact that I’d be able to go,” said Wichlinski.
In September, Daniels announced the initiative to increase the number of students who take part in international programs. Purdue will give $3,000 to students who go over seas for a semester or longer, $2,000 for 6-week, 6-credit programs, and $1,000 for shorter programs, like a Maymester or summer program.
“After the announcement of this initiative, we’ve seen a definite increase in student interest,” said Michael Brzezinski, Dean of International Programs.
Brzezinski said the announcement was made around the time the spring semester application deadline was due, so it’s hard to tell if numbers are up for the semester programs. However, he said the numbers are certainly up for Spring Break programs.
“Where as last year, we had about 200 undergraduate students studying abroad at that time. This year we’ll be closer to 400, so that’s a significant increase,” said Brzezinski.
Wichlinski is excited to be part of the increase.
“I figured now’s the best time to go because otherwise, I probably wouldn’t be able to have an experience like this,” said Wichlinski.
Brzezinski said the initiative is being funded with internal resources. He said there’s really a push towards semester-long programs.