COLLEGE STATION, Texas — Texas A&M University is starting the year off at the top for the very first time after a recent study from the Institute for International Education revealed more A&M students are studying abroad than any other university in the country.
"We've been going back and forth with NYU for that number one spot for many years," Associate Vice President of Global Engagement Holly Hudson said. "We often said that we are the number one public university for study abroad numbers, but now we get to say that we are the number one university overall."
According to Hudson, last year just under 3,000 students studied abroad, and this past fall semester, Texas A&M sent over 550 students overseas. Furthermore, the program offers students a wide range of international destinations to study, with Aggies having over 190 different countries to choose from.
"We live in such a global world and I know people say that all the time, but it is so true," Program Coordinator Jessica Meado said. "Being able to have those opportunities to experience something different to walk in somebody else's shoes, to kind of understand what it is to be a part of this global world that we're all in."
Faculty-led programs in western European countries like Spain, Italy, and the U.K. tend to bring in the most students, with Aggies going abroad as a cohort with a faculty member while earning credits for their degrees.
"I really appreciated the opportunity to connect with people from other cultures and other places, and many of the relationships and friends that I made during those experiences have stayed with me today," Hudson said.
Studying abroad isn't just something for people who can afford it outright. There are scholarships, financial aid, and payment plans available for all Aggies looking to broaden their horizons.
"In all my years of working in this area, I have never heard someone say I regret my study abroad experience," Hudson said. "I have often heard people say, I wish I would have studied abroad."