by Stacey Casuccio

Open Doors ranking underscores that “UGA is a globally engaged institution”

The University of Georgia moved up eight spaces to rank sixth in the nation for the number of students who study abroad, according to the latest Open Doors ranking from the Institute of International Education. UGA is the top-ranked institution in the Southeastern Conference and the only institution in the state of Georgia among the top 10.

The announcement of the Open Doors report coincides with the start of International Education Week, Nov. 16-20, an event that recognizes the benefits and rewards of international education and exchange worldwide. Supported by a grant from the U. S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, the report reflects the results of research conducted by IIE on U.S. students who study abroad for academic credit. In addition to research, IIE creates and implements international education programs providing multiple opportunities for students and scholars alike.

“The latest study abroad ranking by the Institute of International Education is our highest yet,” said Noel Fallows, associate provost for the Office of Global Engagement. “Our numbers reflect a student appetite for academically rigorous international experiences that is underpinned by impactful scholarship opportunities, dedicated faculty engagement and a strong institutional commitment to global education.”

Yana Cornish, director of global education, was equally pleased with the report. “UGA students, supported by UGA and their families, who engage in study, research and internships abroad have been the fuel for growth of our international programs,” she said. “UGA has a long history of success in study abroad, and global education staff are honored to be a part of the campus-wide internationalization efforts.”

During the 2018-2019 academic year, 2,780 UGA undergraduate and graduate students studied abroad in programs facilitated by the Office of Global Engagement at UGA, the period the latest Open Doors report covers.

UGA faculty-led study abroad programs for the 2020-2021 academic year have been temporarily suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but plans are underway to resume operations in the Maymester and summer terms. With input from its Risk Management Advisory Committee and the UGA Preventative Measures Advisory Board, the Office of Global Engagement is working closely with individual directors of faculty-led programs on comprehensive, program-specific strategies for minimizing risk and ensuring the health and safety of instructional staff and student participants.

Jack Hu, the university’s senior vice president for academic affairs and provost, emphasized the numerous benefits of participation in study abroad, which helps build self-confidence and the ability to work constructively as part of a diverse team. Study abroad participation also has been associated with improved academic outcomes, such as GPAs and graduation rates, as well as career success.

“Our top 10 ranking in the Open Doors report underscores that the University of Georgia is a globally engaged institution,” Hu said. “Our students enthusiastically seek out study abroad opportunities, and they are supported by world-class faculty and programs.”

The Open Doors Report, published annually by the Institute of International Education, is available at

Additional information on all UGA Education Abroad programs are available on the StudyAway portal.

UGA ranks 6th in nation for study abroad participation