LU News Archive

LU joins Institute of International Education Coalition

Lamar University has joined the Institute of International Education (IIE) Generation Study Abroad initiative.  Although the IIE campaign seeks to double the number of students studying abroad by the end of the decade, Jeff Palis, the Lamar director for the study abroad program, aims to double the number of Lamar students studying abroad by the end of 2016. The initiative is also focusing on increasing the diversity of the students who study abroad, ensuring quality, and removing barriers to participation.

IIE is launching Generation Study Abroad because the number and proportion of today’s students who graduate with an educational experience abroad is far too low. Currently, fewer than 10 percent of all U.S. college students study abroad at some point in their academic career.  With 2.6 million students graduating with associates or baccalaureate degrees each year, it is clear that major segments of America’s young people are not getting the international experience they will need to advance their careers and participate in the global economy, or to work together across borders to address global issues.  Commitment partners are working to ensure that students from all backgrounds and in all fields of study have the opportunity to gain this important experience.

“Globalization has changed the way the world works, and employers are increasingly looking for workers who have international skills and expertise,” said Allan Goodman, president of IIE. “Studying abroad must be viewed as an essential component of a college degree and critical to preparing future leaders.”

Generation Study Aboard partners commit to specific, actionable goals to increase the number of U.S. students studying abroad. At Lamar, Palis intends to remove the barriers to participation that have kept Lamar’s annual study abroad participation numbers low.  His plans include advisement and workshops about nationally competitive and campus study abroad scholarships, fundraising and grant writing for future scholarship funds, better visibility for study abroad on the Lamar campus to include an Office of Study Abroad, and a greater diversity in academic coursework offered on programs. For 2015, new study abroad initiatives are being planned in criminal justice, theater, hospitality administration, psychology, and geography, among other areas, to enhance existing Lamar programs in art, health sciences, business, biology, and Spanish.

A total of 308 partners have joined Generation Study Abroad to date. They include: 241 U.S. colleges and universities from 46 states; nine non-U.S. institutions; 13 education associations; 34 study abroad organizations; 11 U.S. and foreign government entities, including the U.S. Department of State Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. For more information on IIE’s Generation Study Abroad initiative, and a complete list of commitment partners, go to

For more information about study abroad programs at Lamar University, please go to