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Chico State

Institute of International Education Recognizes Chico State for Study Abroad Excellence

Courtesy photo by Victoria Villasenor

Once again, Chico State has been recognized by the Institute of International Education (IIE) as being one of the most active and engaged US higher education institutions in its category for participation in studying abroad.

In its latest Open Doors rankings for the 2021–22 academic year—the most recent year for which data is available—the IIE ranked Chico State’s Study Abroad and Exchange program at No. 9 in the nation for master’s degree-granting colleges and universities.

This is the 17th time in the last 18 years Chico State has been recognized in the IIE’s top 10 list for year-long participation among masters-granting institutions.

The CSU occupied six of the top 10 slots in the same category, including second-ranked Cal Poly San Luis Obispo; No. 3 Sonoma State; No. 4 CSUN; Cal Poly Pomona and Sacramento State (which tied at No. 5).

Study Abroad and Exchange Coordinator Ximena Ospina said the impact of studying abroad is an individual and unique process—yet a common thread is a transformative experience that changes lives forever.

“Global education cannot resolve all our global and local challenges—however, it is a bridge between humanity,” she said. “This bridge can expand perspectives, build long-standing cross-cultural collaborations, foster understanding between cultures and, on an individual level, enhance a deeper sense of self and compassion. These are integral pieces for a just and peaceful world.”

Chico State Student Umberto Partida in Italy Study Abroad
Political Science and International Studies double major Humberto Partida studied abroad in Florence, Italy: “To describe my study abroad experience in three words, I say life-changing, memorable, and unique. I’m doing what my parents and grandparents only dreamed about doing.”

Sebastian Greer studied abroad during two different academic years (2019–20 in Spain and 2022–23 in Mexico) and felt substantial personal growth in that his experiences offered him a new understanding of Latin America.

“Conducting field work in Colombia allowed me to explore global career paths and learn from rural Indigenous communities and their specific approach to Peace Education,” said the Chicanx/Latinx and Latin American Studies double major.

Business Administration major Morgan Blundo also grew personally studying in Torino, Italy during the spring ’23 semester, while also acquiring new methods of learning and adapting to different cultures both inside and outside the classroom.

“The classes I took showed me new perspectives on the business world and helped me see things from many different cultural viewpoints,” she said. “I feel like I am better prepared to enter the workforce having this study abroad experience under my belt.”

A total of 102 Chico State students studied abroad during the 2021–22 academic year, with Italy, Spain, the United Kingdom, Germany, Costa Rica, South Korea and Greece as the top destinations among 39 available countries.

Chico State’s Office of International Education and Global Engagement supports a number of programs that allow its students to study abroad as well as international students to learn here. In 2021–22, the University supported 299 international students from 48 nations across the globe, while various academic departments hosted four visiting international scholars. 

Additionally, the International Wildcat Global Café and Collaborative Online Learning (COIL) support global learning virtually and educators and learners from around the world and are welcomed to campus through grant-funded projects facilitated by International Training Programs