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ILLINOIS INTERNATIONAL refers to the multifaceted nature of internationalization at Illinois and encompasses a range of international activities, assets, and linkages. While the Illinois International site is maintained by the Office of International Programs & Studies (IPS), its scope is far broader than any one unit, serving as a portal to a variety of international-related information and resources housed in units and departments across campus.
Internationalization at Illinois
The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign is a recognized leader in international education, research and engagement. With a strong commitment to international initiatives both at the campus level and within individual colleges, internationalization is increasingly embedded in all aspects of the academic life on campus.
Illinois is committed to promoting and developing study abroad opportunities for its students. It has seen tremendous growth not only in the total number of students studying abroad, but also in the variety of programs and destinations and in the diversity of disciplines. According to the most recent issue of Open Doors, the annual survey of international education in the United States published by the Institute for International Education (IIE), the campus ranked 19th in the country in the number of study abroad students in 2009–2010 with 1,939 students.
Illinois supports study abroad through a central Study Abroad Office as well as dedicated staff in major colleges. In a reflection of our students’ commitment to and interest in international education experiences, the student body voted in 2011 to continue a fee of $5 per semester in support study abroad scholarships. The fee generates about $250,000 per year, significantly augmenting the campus’ financial support for students learning abroad, estimated at more than $800,000 per year.
The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign maintains over 200 active institutional linkages with international partners representing more than 40 different countries around the world. These agreements range from student exchanges—some now entering their third decade of activity—to faculty exchange and collaborative research agreements with national research agencies, to innovative joint educational programs leading to dual or multi-institutional degrees.
The campus has one of the largest international student enrollments in the country. 7,991 international students are currently enrolled at Illinois, placing the campus first among public universities in the U.S. and second among all American institutions of higher education. The campus also ranks highly in the number of international scholars, with 1,787 in 2010-2011, placing it 13th in the country.
Illinois hosts a total of six federally funded U.S. Department of Education Title VI Centers in international and area studies, each focusing on a different world region or issue. They include National Resource Centers on East Asian and Pacific Studies; European Union Studies; Global Studies; Latin American and Caribbean Studies; Russian, East European and Eurasian Studies; as well as a Center on International Business Education and Research. Over 600 faculty from all colleges on campus are affiliated with one or more of these centers. Additional centers within the Office of International Programs & Studies include the Program on Arms Control, Disarmament and International Security; the Women and Gender in Global Perspectives Program; and the International Forum on U.S. Studies.
The Illinois library—the largest public academic research library in the U.S.–holds well over four million volumes in support of international studies. The International and Area Studies Library was established in 2011 to promote interdisciplinary research and provide better services to its large and growing Area Studies collections. Foremost among the collections is the Slavic and East European Library, the third largest collection in North America. The Asian Library has strong collections in Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Arabic, Hebrew, Indic, Persian, Vietnamese, and Thai. The Latin American and Caribbean collection is the nation’s fourth largest. The Library’s internationally renowned Mortenson Center for International Library Programs has a long tradition of providing librarians from around the world with continuing education.
Illinois Around the World adds a new dimension to this task by consolidating a wealth of international-related data with program information and upcoming events, and making it searchable by country, unit, or activity type. Units from across campus can add information to Illinois Around the World.
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