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Wingate No. 11 in the nation for study abroad

by Luanne Williams

Four decades after Wingate first sent students across the Atlantic, the University now ranks 11th for study-abroad participation among doctoral institutions in the United States and third among those in North Carolina. 

“I'm so proud of us. It’s truly a university-wide accomplishment to be able to rank so high on this prestigious list,” said Jennifer Armentrout, executive director of global engagement. “Thank you to all who have supported and continue to support our study-abroad efforts.”

The list of top universities for study-abroad opportunities was released Monday by the Open Doors Report on International Educational Exchange and was based on the 2017-2018 academic year, during which 217 students – 63.3 percent of qualifying Wingate undergraduates – took part in international programs. Wingate placed higher than both Yale and Duke universities, which were ranked 13th and 14th, respectively. Elon led the list, and Wake Forest ranked fourth.

According to the Institute of International Education, 341,751 United States students participated in study-abroad programs for academic credit during the 2017-2018 academic year, a 2.7 percent increase over the previous year. European countries remain the most popular destinations, with 54.9 percent of study-abroad students going to Europe. The United Kingdom, Italy, Spain, France and Germany hosted the most U.S. study-abroad students. Several other nations are growing in popularity as destinations for U.S. students, including Japan, which saw a 12.4 percent year-on-year increase in visits from American students. Greece, the Netherlands, Israel and Argentina also experienced double-digit gains. 

Wingate students have traveled to more than three-dozen countries over the past five years, with Ireland, Italy, the UK and Greece among last year’s top destinations, followed closely by South Africa, Japan and Denmark. Next month’s W’International experiences will take students to the UK, Italy, Peru and Costa Rica. Next spring, groups will head to Argentina, Germany, Italy, Denmark and China.

To participate in W’International, students must be enrolled full-time, have junior class standing, make a passing grade in the affiliated class and have a cumulative GPA of at least 2.3. Junior transfer students are eligible after completing one semester at Wingate. Although the most popular, W’International is not the only study-abroad opportunity at the University. Wingate offers language immersion programs in Quebec (French) and Costa Rica (Spanish) and other opportunities for internships and exchanges.

As a master’s-level institution, Wingate was consistently among the top 30 in the nation for study-abroad participation. Ranked No. 22 last year, the University was one of just two North Carolina master’s-level schools that made the top 25. Because of changes in the Carnegie Classification of Institutes of Higher Education, Wingate is now listed as a doctorate-granting university.

“We are on a much more high-profile list, with higher percentages than Stanford, Vanderbilt, Boston College, Northeastern and many others,” Armentrout said.

In addition to giving students opportunities to study abroad, Wingate also brings the world to their doorstep. The University is home to 127 international students, representing 45 countries.

While studying alongside students from around the world gives Wingate students a different perspective on life, bringing international students to the U.S. to study also pays off for the local economy. According to NAFSA: International Association of Educators, international students around the state contributed $722.3 million to the North Carolina economy during the 2018-19 academic year.

International students studying at Wingate contributed $5.9 million to the economy and supported 80 jobs last year.

Learn more about our international programs here.

Nov. 19, 2019