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Whitworth named No. 1 school in Pacific Northwest for study-abroad participation

January 3, 2013

The Institute of International Education has named Whitworth University the No. 1 master’s-level university for study-abroad participation in the Pacific Northwest. Among the 585 members of Whitworth’s Class of 2012, 45.2 percent studied abroad, while about 14 percent of U.S. undergraduate students receiving bachelor’s degrees in 2012 studied abroad during their college careers.

The IIE’s findings are based on its Open Doors study-abroad survey, which includes students who received academic credit from accredited U.S. institutions of higher education after they returned from their study-abroad experience.

Sue Jackson, director of Whitworth’s International Education Center, credits Whitworth for its reputation as an innovator in study-abroad programs, with many models and timeframes to suit varying student needs and tastes.

“We are pleased that, at Whitworth, study abroad is almost becoming an expectation,” says Jackson. “We are grateful that the strategic plan calls for increased student participation in study abroad. My particular joy is talking to students who have returned from studying abroad and seeing the personal growth that has taken place in them and the excitement about international people and places.”

Arcadia University tops the Institute of International Education’s list of top master’s-level universities in the nation for study-abroad participation, followed by Elon University, Lee University, University of Dallas and Loyola University Maryland. West Coast schools joining Whitworth (No. 10) in the national rankings are University of Redlands (No. 6), Saint Mary’s College of California (No. 8), Gonzaga University (No. 20), Pacific Lutheran University (No. 21), George Fox University (No. 24), University of Portland (No. 34) and Santa Clara University (No. 37). To learn more about the Open Doors study-abroad survey, visit

The third goal of Whitworth’s strategic plan is to “prepare Whitworth students to be global citizens.” Whitworth strives to fulfill this objective in part by achieving key point indicator 3.1.3 of the 2011-12 President’s Report, which aims to increase traditional undergraduate student participation in study-abroad programs to 70 percent by 2021. The university is fulfilling this goal in part by its recent establishment of semester-long study-abroad programs in China and Tanzania, in addition to Whitworth’s Costa Rica Center, which first opened its doors in fall 2010. Dozens of month-long and semester-long programs are available through both faculty-led group trips and individual exchange programs. To learn more about Whitworth’s study abroad options, visit

The Institute of International Education is a world leader in the international exchange of people and ideas. An independent, not-for-profit organization founded in 1919, IIE has a network of 18 offices worldwide and over 1,000 member institutions. IIE designs and implements programs of study and training for students, educators, young professionals and trainees from all sectors with funding from government agencies, foundations, and corporations. IIE conducts policy research and program evaluations, and provides advising and counseling on international education and opportunities abroad. IIE also protects scholarship worldwide by providing support and assistance to threatened students and scholars through such programs as IIE’s Scholar Rescue Fund (SRF) and Emergency Student Fund (ESF).

Located in Spokane, Wash., Whitworth is a private liberal arts university affiliated with the Presbyterian Church (USA). The university, which has an enrollment of nearly 3,000 students, offers 60 undergraduate and graduate degree programs.


Sue Jackson, director of the International Education Center, Whitworth University, (509) 777-4596 or

Andrea Idso, interim public information officer, Whitworth University, (509) 777-4703 or