Study abroad program enrolls more than 1,000 for 2009-10

The study abroad office estimates the number of students studying away will double by 2020.

The study abroad office estimates the number of students studying away will double by 2020.

The number of student-participants in Temple’s study abroad program surpassed 1,000 this year, according to the International Affairs Office.

“Our trend has been one of growth for the past several years, so we weren’t really surprised,” said Denise Connerty, the assistant vice president of international affairs. “But given the difficult economy, we were pleased and gratified to see continued growth, and specifically an increase of 9 percent over 2008-09.”

This recent development is part of a broader trend for the university’s international program.

Connerty said Temple student study abroad participation has tripled in the last 10 years, from 335 in 1999-2000 to 1,004 in 2009-10.

Nationwide study abroad participation increased after the events of Sept. 11, Connerty added.

“Students realized the importance of knowing more about the rest of the world,” she said. “With regard to Temple, a number of other factors have been influential over the past decade, including President [Ann Weaver] Hart’s emphasis on the importance of international education for Temple students, increased study abroad funding opportunities [and] more study abroad activity in some of Temple’s schools and colleges.”

As for the future of the program, Connerty said Senior Vice Provost for International Affairs Hai-Lung Dai would like to see study abroad participation double by 2020.

“Given that we did that for the previous 10 years, we are optimistic that we will be successful,” Connerty added.

Senior Nick Pivovarnik, a peer adviser who studied abroad, mirrored Connerty’s enthusiasm, calling the study abroad program “a life changer.”

As a peer adviser, Pivovarnik sets up information tables, distributes signs and hosts advising sessions for the study abroad program. Although he gives presentations as often as he can, Pivovarnik said promotion “is heavily dependent on viral advertising.”

“For every good experience abroad a student has, three more will join the program,” Pivovarnik said. “I try to fight the myths about why people can’t go abroad. People think they don’t have enough money, that they can’t get funding or aren’t in the right major.”

Pivovarnik recommended that every student study abroad in his or her time at the university.

“We have actual Temple branch campuses in other countries,” Pivovarnik said. “You’re still going to Temple, just in Rome, Oviedo or Tokyo.”

Carl O’Donnell can be reached at

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