Sonoma State University has been nationally ranked by the Institute of International Education as one of the nation’s top five universities for study abroad.
The Institute of International Education, a leading nonprofit education and cultural exchange group, ranked Sonoma State University’s study abroad program as one of the top five degree-level colleges and universities for the number of students who study abroad for at least one year.
In the academic year 2015-2016, Sonoma State had 63 students study abroad for a full academic year and the number has dramatically increased since. In 2016-2017, the number of students grew to 89 students, an increase of 26 students. The growth of the program comes from support of faculty, academic departments, and students’ desire to live and study in a different culture.
Sonoma State University promotes students to study abroad by offering scholarships and implementing programs that allows students to take classes that transfer back to the university. The International and Exchange Programs Advisor, Hope Ortiz said, “Studying abroad often costs less than staying at SSU, and students are able to use all of their financial aid. Cost and affordability for students is very important, so students will often choose the program that best suits their financial needs.”
Informational meetings are held in the study abroad office, located in International Hall, for Sonoma State students that are interested in studying outside of the country. Students will be advised on areas such as, cost, location, and transferable courses. Top choices for Sonoma State students are the United Kingdom, Italy, France, Australia and Germany.
“I studied abroad last year in Rome, it was by far the best experience I’ve ever had. Getting to live in another country, meet different people from all over the world, and experience another culture while taking classes was absolutely incredible,” said Vince Emme, a senior accounting major at Sonoma State.
Sonoma State also offers students the opportunity to participate in the National Student Exchange program. Since the academic year 2013-2014, Sonoma State has had 101 students study in various states across the country, including its territories (Puerto Rico and U.S. Virgin Islands).
Other California University campuses across the state that also appeared on the list of top study abroad campuses were Chico, San Luis Obispo, Monterey Bay and Long Beach.
Sonoma State also welcomes students from destinations all over the world. The university currently has 62 students, educators and scholars from out of the country.
“I encourage everyone to look into studying abroad because it’ll be an experience you’ll never forget,” Emme said.