A C I F I C L U T H E R A N U N I V E R S
I T Y
P R I N G 2 0 0 2
PLU continues successful
focus on international education
According to surveys conducted by
the New York-based Institute of International Education, approximately
3 percent of U.S. college students studied in other nations last
year. PLU stands apart, with 36 percent of its grads having studied
abroad in faculty-directed programs, university exchanges and
"We offer a unique international
core curriculum of courses, and we have one of the oldest interdisciplinary,
global studies programs in the USA," said Bill Teska, PLU's
associate provost. "For decades, our faculty have been committed
to providing for our students solid perspectives in global learning.
In some ways this has come naturally; it's a part of our heritage."
Among comparable institutions, PLU
is ranked seventh for the percentage of graduates who have studied
abroad, according to the Institute of International Education
in its most recent survey.
With study abroad opportunities from
Tanzania to Trinidad and Tobago and a core curriculum stressing
a global perspective, PLU is committed to providing students with
an international education.
"In the whole realm of international
education, what has happened at PLU is remarkable," said
Teska. "We are among an elite group of leading comprehensive
universities that graduate a substantial percentage of students
with international experience."
Shorter study abroad programs have
also grown dramatically. Six years ago, there were a couple of
international programs offered during J-Term, the January session
in between semesters. This year there were 18 programs, sending
students to study community development in Cuba, the economy in
Italy and the ecology of Australia. And PLU boasts 52 Fulbright
Scholars in the last 25 years who went overseas after graduation,
far more than comparable institutions.
The university also offers an unusual
International Core of classes, which provides an interdisciplinary
approach structured around a theme of global studies. Also available
are majors in Scandinavian Studies and Chinese Studies.
"It is critical to be preparing
our students to be global citizens," Teska said. "We
are giving our students the tools they need to navigate through
an increasingly inter-connected world."'
International students also make
up 5 percent of PLU's student population, compared with a 3 percent
average at American universities.