You can’t change the world without experiencing it. For success in today’s global economy, students must be prepared to work in an environment of different languages, cultures and histories.
That’s why UT Austin offers numerous opportunities to prepare students to be global citizens through international and cultural exchange, and partnerships that strengthen the university’s global reach.
“What starts at UT benefits not only the state of Texas, but also our nation and our nation’s leadership role internationally,” said President Gregory L. Fenves in response to a recent executive order. “To achieve our mission at UT, we value a diverse community, a community that includes all of us — students, faculty and staff members. And as a university of the first class, we attract many of the brightest individuals from around the world.”
The Forty Acres is home to more than 5,600 international students and 1,500 international faculty members and researchers from more than 120 countries.
The International Office is at the center of building UT’s global community. Located on the west side of campus, the International Office coordinates study abroad opportunities for UT students and supports the international population and units across campus with an array of services including advising, immigration support, and advocacy. Specialized cross-cultural programs train the next generation of global leaders and bring diverse perspectives to campus that would otherwise not be represented.
“My experience at UT was transformational,” says Vimbiso Mashumba, the 2015 Mandela Washington fellow and social entrepreneur from Zimbabwe. “I had the opportunity to be exposed to different ways of thinking in relation to my business, and how I can impact my country and continent.”
Not only are the world’s best and brightest coming to UT Austin, more than 3,100 Longhorns from every college and school study abroad annually. The 400 programs offered in 78 countries prepare students for success in a global economy. UT’s study abroad programs, including internships and service-learning opportunities like Projects with Underserved Communities (PUC), are immersive experiences designed to equip students with practical cross-cultural skills that transfer to their careers.
“I am often asked about my college experience and how it shaped my future. My response is always Projects with Underserved Communities, and the huge impact that unique experience had on my life, professional career and my global prospective,” says Abdullah Alqaroot, a 2014 graduate in architectural engineering and project manager of the 2014 PUC project in Managua, Nicaragua. “Today, I serve as a mentor for current PUC projects and will continue to encourage students’ passion for serving and empowering communities around the world.”
International experience not only enriches students’ academic experiences, it prepares them for careers in an intercultural workplace and gives them a competitive advantage in a globalized job market.
“I chose to intern abroad to expand my knowledge and skill set past what I can learn in the classroom,” says Kelly Mullins, junior civil engineering major who studied abroad in Vienna and interned in Shanghai. “Adaptability is an incredibly valuable soft skill, and going abroad forces you out of your comfort zone so you are challenged with a new culture, language and lifestyle, and you learn to adapt. I feel this experience just opened the door for a future of global learning and exploration, and made me more open-minded to experiencing new cultures and ideas.”
The university’s global engagement continues beyond a student’s degree. Not only do we lead the region in the number of alumni serving as Peace Corps volunteers, we are one of the Fulbright Scholar Program’s top producing institutions for both Fulbright U.S. students and Fulbright U.S. scholars, ranking among the 16 institutions in the country with the highest number of students and faculty members to receive Fulbright scholarships – an exceptional achievement. The Fulbright Scholar Program is the U.S. government’s flagship international educational exchange program.
The impact of the university is felt around the world through these programs that prepare students to become leaders in their professions and communities, and achievements that shape the world’s economic and cultural landscape.
Your global education starts here, and what starts here changes the world.