JMU celebrates 35 years of study abroad


1979 London group
Study abroad at JMU began in 1979 with one program — Semester in London — one professor and 28 students.

Administrators, faculty and staff raised a glass this week to toast 35 years of study abroad at JMU.

The anniversary reception, held Sept. 24 in the Leeolou Alumni Center, featured remarks from JMU President Jonathan Alger and Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs Dr. Jerry Benson. Two former university presidents, Dr. Ronald Carrier and Dr. Linwood Rose, were recognized for their roles in advancing study abroad at JMU, as were two of the founding semester program directors, Dr. Ralph A. Cohen and Dr. Kay Arthur.

  • Study abroad at JMU began in 1979 with one program — Semester in London — one professor and 28 students.
  • Semester programs in Paris, Florence and Salamanca quickly followed, with the continued support of Carrier.
  • Under Rose’s presidency, semester programs in Antwerp, Beijing and Scotland were added, along with master’s degree programs in Florence and Malta. A third graduate program, in conjunction with the University of Salamanca, is set to begin next year.
  • JMU is annually one of the top master’s-level institutions in the country in study-abroad participation. In the past year, 1,217 JMU students studied abroad in 63 different programs in 52 countries.
  • As part of the Institute of International Education’s Generation Study Abroad initiative, the Office of International Programs has pledged to increase study-abroad participation from one-fourth to one-third of all JMU students by 2020.

JMU is also home to 45 international faculty members, seven of whom are new this year. In addition, the university is enriched by the 99 green card holders among its full-time faculty and staff, more than half of whom gained that status through the sponsorship and support of OIP’s International Student and Scholar Services team.

“All of these faculty and staff members provide perspectives, cultures and beliefs that mirror and differ from our own and always enhance our community, both on and off campus,” Alger said.


Sept. 26, 2014

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Published: Friday, September 26, 2014

Last Updated: Thursday, October 20, 2016

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