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You Visit Tour. Webb Lion Fountain. June 1 2017. Photo David B. Hollingsworth

International Education Week: Celebrating the Benefits of International Education

By Steve Bell

With nearly 1,000 international students currently enrolled, and several hundred Old Dominion students traveling to other countries each year, the University embraces the diversity and unique educational opportunities afforded by study abroad programs.

From Nov. 13-17, ODU celebrates International Education Week (IEW) with events highlighting the impact international education has on the University.

The Office of Intercultural Relations (OIR) coordinates IEW, with events including an ODU Fulbright reception; student, faculty and staff presentations; global health conversations; Global Café: Europe; a networking lunch for Global Monarch Club mentors; study abroad information sessions; an international country fair; an international film screening; a Muslim art festival; a multicultural night; a visiting Fulbright professor's lecture; and more.

To view a full calendar of events, visit the Office of Intercultural Relations website.

Across the country, international student enrollments, as well as enrollments of U.S. students who earned academic credit for international study, reached all-time highs in the past year. Old Dominion enrolled 820 international students in fall 2016, of which 713 were degree-seeking and 107 were non-degree. ODU international degree-seeking students hailed from 91 countries during the fall 2016 semester. Over half of these 91 countries have less than three students enrolled at the university.

According to the Association of International Educators, international students contributed $688.3 million to the Commonwealth's economy in 2016-17.

ODU's English Language Center (ELC) enrolled 71 non-degree international students in fall 2016. Many ELC students enroll in ODU academic degree programs following completion of their ELC studies.

ODU hosted 113 international scholars from 34 countries in 2015-16 academic year. Leading sponsors were the Frank Reidy Research Center for Bioelectrics and the departments of chemistry and civil and electrical engineering

During the 2015-16 academic year, 245 ODU students studied abroad. Short-term programs comprised 82 percent of ODU study abroad enrollments (nationally 63 percent of enrollments were short-term) in the past year, and faculty-led study abroad programs offered by ODU faculty in the colleges of health sciences, business, and education led the way. Forty three percent of ODU study abroad students in 2015-16 were minorities, which is 15 percent higher than the national average.

The top three origin countries for ODU international students were China, India and Saudi Arabia while the United Kingdom, Italy and Spain were the top three countries for ODU study abroad enrollments. The leading countries for ODU international students and study abroad students are consistent with national statistics for these categories.

The Batten College of Engineering and Technology, the Strome College of Business, and the College of Sciences enrolled the largest international student populations. The College of Arts and Letters, the Strome College of Business, and the Darden College of Education had the highest numbers of students who studied abroad.