'The new frontier of skills development' – growing number of organisations join campaign to double the percentage of UK students studying abroad

6 September 2019

Support pledged includes new scholarships for students to study abroad, discounts on visa services, free places on development programmes and discounted accommodation overseas.

Five organisations, Cultural Vistas, Pagoda Projects, Student.com, Common Purpose and The Intern Group, have pledged support to help more UK students study abroad as part the Go International: Stand Out campaign. The pledges include new scholarships for students to study abroad, discounts on visa services, free places on development programmes and discounted accommodation overseas.

The pledges are part of the UK-wide Go International: Stand Out campaign, run by Universities UK International, which aims to double the percentage of UK undergraduates who study, work, or volunteer abroad to 13% by the end of 2020. The five organisations announcing pledges today join five organisations who have already made pledges to the campaign: CRCC Asia, Campus France, DAAD London, The Higher Education Statistics Agency and QS.

Data suggests that there are significant academic and employability benefits to students who study abroad: those who studied abroad were 20% less likely to be unemployed six months after graduating than those who did not. There were especially pronounced benefits for those from a disadvantaged background. For example, BME students who studied abroad were 17% more likely to be in a graduate job six months after graduating than their peers. The campaign aims to widen access to study abroad opportunities.

Vivienne Stern, Director, Universities UK International said:

"I want to extend my thanks for the generous pledges made by our campaign partners. It is fantastic to see so many organisations taking action to widen access to study abroad opportunities. Study abroad is the new frontier of skills development and widening participation in our universities. It opens up opportunities and experiences that help all students develop the independence and intercultural skills that have been shown to lead to academic and career success. These skills will only grow in importance in an ever more globalised world. Currently the UK is lagging behind its European counterparts in terms of the percentage of students who study abroad. With the help of our campaign partners, we hope to change that."

The pledges

The Intern Group: 5 fully funded scholarships to Bangkok

Students will be eligible to undertake a 4-week professional internship program in Bangkok in August 2020, receiving a placement in a career field of their choice. Accommodation, professional development workshops, cultural events, transportation, visas, 24/7 support and an international network of students and professionals are included.

Rick Cross, Global Partnerships Associate – UK, The Intern Group, comments: "The Intern Group is proud to offer international internships to 5 lucky students. An international internship provides a great opportunity for students to develop their skills in a professional setting whilst also stepping outside of their comfort zone and living in an exciting new environment!"

Common Purpose: free leadership module for students going overseas

Common Purpose is offering all UK university students doing short term outbound mobility programmes the chance to participate on its Cultural Intelligence (CQ) online course and to earn the 'CQ for Global Experiences' micro-credential, at no cost. Participants will develop skills and competencies key to success in the 21st century.

Andy Coxall, Chief Executive Common Purpose Student Experiences comments "We see consistently how transformational short term global experiences are for students. As such we are delighted that through the Gone International: Stand Out Campaign we are able to support students to accelerate their learning, articulate the key skills and competencies they've developed abroad, and demonstrate their learning and development through the 'CQ for Global Experiences' micro-credential."

Student.com: discounted accommodation overseas

Universities can get an exclusive discount of up to 5% on worldwide student accommodation listed on Student.com to help them send more students abroad. In addition, to help students settle-in to their new home away from home, Student.com can provide all services required such as; airport pick-up/drop-off, linen/cooking bundles, plus bespoke requests. Previously, Student.com and UUKi produced a series of campaign videos with student testimonials.

Dan Baker, General Manager, EMEA, comments "We are delighted to be part of the UUKi Stand Out Campaign and to bolster our continued support by creating a pledge. Our aim is to make it easier for both universities and students realise their dreams of international study. Which is why Student.com has sourced over 1.25 million student beds worldwide, supporting universities to provide international courses, and ensuring students to have a comfortable home away from home - irrespective of where they are in the world. University is a great opportunity for a student to broaden their horizons, plus experiencing different global cultures first-hand can play a big part in a student's future career."

Cultural Vistas: discounted visa fees for students interning in the US

Cultural Vistas is a nonprofit international exchange organization headquartered in New York City with offices in Washington, D.C. and Berlin, Germany. As a J-1 Visa sponsor designated by the U.S. Department of State, Cultural Vistas has agreed to offer a significant discount on J-1 Visa program administrative fees for UUKi member universities. The discounted rates are $750 for internship programs lasting up to 3 months, and $800 for programs lasting 3–12 months.

Roxana Pleacoff, Senior Director, Cultural Vistas, commented: "We are very excited to join UUKi in this substantive effort to prepare and train the next generation of global leaders. International internships are an invaluable investment in one's education and career. Together with partners around the world, we are determined to make these life- and career-changing programs more accessible to a more diverse range of students."


Pagoda projects: 3 scholarships to Taipei, Ho Chi Minh City, and Mexico City

Pagoda Projects are excited to offer three scholarship places for their award-winning internship programmes in Taipei, Ho Chi Minh City and Mexico City. The scholarships give UK students an opportunity to gain work experience and develop language skills in three incredible destinations, supported throughout by the Pagoda Projects team.

Jamie Bettles, Managing Director, Pagoda Projects comments: "Our passion for international experience aligns perfectly with the Stand Out campaign, so we are delighted to formalise our support by providing these scholarships. We hope that the recipients will play a part in developing international relations through cultural exchange and at the same time enhancing their employability. We chose to offer scholarships in a range of destinations and formats, in order to appeal to a wide demographic of students and to showcase several exciting destinations. We can't wait to start receiving applications! "


About Student.com

Student.com is the largest marketplace for student accommodation globally, listing more than one million beds in over 400 cities worldwide. The company seeks to simplify the student housing booking process through a free global service that puts security and ease-of-use first. To date, the company has raised $70 million from investors including VY Capital, Li Ka-Shing's Horizons Ventures, Expa, Spotify founders Daniel Ek and Martin Lorentzon, Facebook VR's Hugo Barra, and Breyer Capital's Jim Breyer.


Learn more about Student.com: student.com        


About Common Purpose


Common Purpose is a not-for-profit leadership development organization that specializes in cross-boundary leadership. Founded in 1989, we run programmes in over 100 cities worldwide, and have more than 80,000 Alumni. Common Purpose Student Experiences is dedicated to developing students as the next generation of inclusive leaders. In 2018 we ran 65 programmes in 40 cities across the world for over 4,500 students.


Learn more about Common Purpose: commonpurpose.org/

Learn more about Common Purpose's work with universities: commonpurpose.org/leadership-programmes/universities/


About The Intern Group


The Intern Group offers international internship programs in 15 destinations for students and graduates. Founded in 2011, The Intern Group annually welcomes over 2000 students from over 150 countries to gain professional experience in a career field of their choice in 1 of 5000 host organization partners. The Intern Group partners with universities around the world to help with internationalization goals, reduce administrative work and increase student employability.


Learn more about The Intern Group: theinterngroup.com

Learn more about The Intern Group's work with educators: theinterngroup.com/educators


About Pagoda Projects


Pagoda Projects' award-winning internship and paid placement programmes include InternChina, InternVietnam and InternMexico. We employ professional & approachable staff in 8 destinations. We're ethical and passionate about making programmes accessible to people from all backgrounds. We've worked with the British Council, Education New Zealand and numerous university partners since 2007. 


Learn more at: pagodaprojects.com


About Cultural Vistas

Founded in 1963, Cultural Vistas is a nonprofit exchange organization and U.S. Department of State-designated Exchange Visitor Program sponsor of J-1 Intern, Trainee, and Teacher programs, whose mission is to enrich minds, advance global skills, build careers, and connect lives through international exchange. Cultural Vistas develops international professional experiences that create more informed, skilled, and engaged citizens. Every year, Cultural Vistas' 30-plus unique exchange programs empower people in the United States and in more than 130 countries around the world to drive positive change in themselves, their organizations, and society.


Learn more at culturalvistas.org.




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