Small World Map

2000 to present

National Context

Study abroad returns to growth after economic crises.

The high school student who wants to study abroad in college is still primarily a white female who plans to major in the humanities or social sciences and comes from a middle to upper-middle class family (ACE, 2008).

The concept of intervention in student learning while students are abroad is introduced in the study abroad literature (Vande Berg, 2007).

The Forum on Education Abroad begins in 2001.

During the 2000s, there is a major growth in research studies on study abroad.

In 2009, The Lincoln Commission and the Senator Paul Simon Study Abroad Act are brought to congress, which is an initiative based on the belief that no education today is complete without a global experience with MSU leadership from then President McPherson and International Studies and Programs then Dean Hudzik.


In 2003, MSU scholars Hult and Lashbrooke publish the book "Study Abroad perspectives and experiences from business schools" highlighting study abroad as a viable option for business students.

A single institution study on the learning outcomes of study abroad from the perspective of the students and the faculty is conducted at MSU, and includes self-reflected survey results, faculty questionnaires and GPA/graduation data taken from the student system. Results indicate that students who participate in study abroad tend to have higher retention rates, shorter time to degree completion and higher cumulative GPAs upon graduation (Ingraham & Peterson, 2004).

President Lou Anna K. Simon establishes a strategic plan called "Boldness by Design" in 2005 which includes strategic decisions around internationalization and forging a closer bond between MSU's area students centers and international institutes that concentrate on thematic issues such as business, development, education, health, and agriculture (NAFSA, 2006).

In 2009, MSU is ranked #4 among large colleges and universities for Peace Corps volunteers.

Study Abroad

In 2000, OSA receives the Academic Excellence and Cost Management Award from the American Council on Education and USA Group Foundation.

Kathleen Fairfax becomes Director in 2001.

September 11, 2001 calls for international education to regroup.

In 2001, an innovative collaboration begins with MSU's Career Services unit resulting in the Unpacking Your Study Abroad workshops for students that have been offered twice a semester since.

OSA collaborates with the College of Arts & Letters in 2001 to develop a for-credit study abroad pre-departure course called "Cultural Differences in Study Abroad". The course continues to offer students at MSU with the tools for understanding and interacting with individuals from different cultural backgrounds, how to foster awareness and sensitivity to cultural differences, and the learning about the role of language study in understanding cultural differences.

The first Freshman Seminar Abroad, co-sponsored in collaboration with the Associate Provost for Undergraduate Education departs for Quebec, Canada in 2003.

In the 2003-2004 cycle, MSU becomes the #1 public university for study abroad enrollment and maintains this status for 8 years. A database system is created to track and handle massive growth in student participation.

Student-centered approaches to facilitate intercultural learning begin.

A renewed partnership with academic advising emerges.

Risk management policies and procedures establish and faculty members are trained in these protocols.

MSU hosts the CIC Study Abroad Conference on "Building Support Networks in Study Abroad" in 2004, bringing together CIC representatives from function groups that support study abroad (i.e., study abroad professionals with financial aid, registrars, deans and provosts, etc.).

The London bombings in 2005 trigger significant expansion in MSU's risk management protocols.

MSU completes a 2007-2008 Task Force report and participation peaks at 1 in 3 undergraduate students at MSU study abroad in 2008.

Based on the 2007-2008 Task Force recommendations, OSA begins to develop vision for the next phase. Quality, Accessibility, and Diversity (QUAD) are adopted as guiding principles.

There is a 12% decline in study abroad enrollment resulting from the 2008-2009 economic crises in Michigan.

Brett Berquist becomes Executive Director in 2009.

In 2009, Jeff Riedinger, Dean of International Studies and Programs tasks the office to enhance research and scholarship initiatives. These efforts are supported and the first meeting of the Research Council occurs in November 2011.

Beginning in 2010, OSA collaborates with the Office of Faculty & Organizational Development to develop a workshop series: "Educating Globally Competent Graduates, Developing Study Abroad Programs, Research, and Pedagogy" to provide faculty members with resources and training on various aspects of education abroad, ranging from basic program development to outcome assessment and pedagogy.

On September 30, 2011, MSU hosts a Freshman Seminar Abroad Symposium: The MSU Model and Beyond sponsored by the Office of Study Abroad, the Associate Provost for Undergraduate Education, and Faculty & Organizational Development.

The Professional Development program for Young Professionals begins in 2012, initially including interns for research & scholarship, communications and risk management.

MSU is surpassed in #1 ranking for the 2011-2012 cycle, reported in the 2013 Open Doors report.

In November 2012, the Faculty Learning Community on Teaching & Learning Abroad and the Office of Study Abroad (w/ support from the Office for International Students and Scholars) hosts the 1st annual Learning Abroad Conference. Re-entry programming is enhanced.

There is an increased focus on community engagement, undergraduate research, and international internships.

The office partners with the Academic Internship Council and provides leadership with the research track of the Global Internship Conferences.

MSU plays a leadership role in the national arena in graduate student study abroad. The Graduate Learning Experiences and Outcomes study focuses on graduate study/education abroad (independent and group) offered by higher education institutions in the Midwest, specifically, CIC member institutions and NYU, a national leader in graduate level study abroad. The main goal is to develop a comprehensive inventory and taxonomy of graduate study abroad programs at these institutions.

2013 sees the launch of the nationally unique Doctoral Study Abroad Fellowship program.

OSA engages in President Simon's Bolder by Design initiative.