UofSC recognized for international diversity efforts

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The University of South Carolina was recognised by the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU) as one of the top institutions in the nation committed to providing global learning and study abroad opportunities to students from diverse backgrounds.

UofSC was awarded the Gold Award at the association’s annual conference in New Orleans in November 2018. The association recognises institutions that excel at one or more aspects of internationalisation, including diversity, leadership, research opportunities and assessment.

UofSC’s international study abroad program, coordinated through the provost’s Global Carolina office, is committed to expanding opportunities to as many students as possible, including minority students, members of the LGBTQ community and students with limited financial resources. This year alone, the university awarded more than 45 students with scholarships to study abroad.

“We take a layered approach to student transformation and make a concerted effort to include students who traditionally don’t believe international experiences are attainable,” says Provost Joan Gabel. “We make those opportunities more accessible, both in terms of how we promote and design them, as well as the financial support we make available. President Harris Pastides and his leadership team have made this a priority, and we’re glad that so many students have benefitted and are committed to ensuring the opportunities grow.”

Last year, 1,871 students from the Columbia campus participated in a study abroad opportunity, representing an increase of 124 percent from a decade ago.

Vice Provost and Director of International Affairs Allen Miller adds that the university also works to expose students to world cultures without leaving campus. One program, Thinking Globally, promotes intercultural engagement through presentations and roundtable discussions led by international student speakers.  Since 2011, more than 21,000 students have attended a Thinking Globally presentation.

“Our international student population serves as ambassadors, and American students gain a much richer appreciation and deeper understanding of the world around them by meeting and interacting with them,” Miller said.