During the 2011-2012 academic year, more than 700 MIT undergraduates participated in global opportunities. Students traveled to 41 countries across five continents to take part in MIT International Science and Technology Initiatives (MISTI) and other internships, International Undergraduate Research Opportunities Programs (UROP), study abroad, including Cambridge-MIT Exchange, public service and international development projects, D-Lab and Terrascope trips and more.
Over the past year, significant participant increases have occurred in the MIT-Madrid and Independent Activities Period (IAP) Chinese language study programs. These high participation rates placed Spain and China in the top five countries visited by MIT students alongside Germany, Italy and India. Israel, France, Mexico, the United Kingdom and Japan rounded out the top 10. Additional countries where most students went include: Brazil, Ghana, Jamaica, Hong Kong, Switzerland and The Netherlands.
Through these experiences, MIT students acquire skills and attitudes essential for success in both graduate school and the global workplace. Students who go abroad report gains in their ability to communicate cross-culturally, including a better understanding of cultural differences. These students also report gains in self-confidence and adapabililty, according to the 2011 GECD Graduating Student Survey.
MIT students have access to an impressive portfolio of global opportunities. MIT takes a non-prescriptive approach; students tailor their experiences based on interests and availability and often go abroad more than once through different global programs. The Office of Global Education and Career Development (GECD) offers guidance to help students find the appropriate opportunities and supports them as they apply and prepare to go abroad. GECD engages students from freshman year to graduation, and offers their services to some graduate students as well.
GECD is continually adding new opportunities to the global roster. Most recently, an educational opportunity in Turkey was added where eight MIT sophomores had the chance to experience teaching and student life at Sabanci University in Turkey and to visit Istanbul for a week during spring break. This program is reciprocal, allowing both MIT and Sabanci University students to experience each other's home university and country.
Visit the Global Education website to view the full breadth of global opportunities and read what featured bloggers and peer mentors have to say about their personal experiences going global. If you have questions, please contact GECD Global Education at firstname.lastname@example.org.