You can study abroad at any university. That’s a given. But not every university does international education quite as well as CofC. That’s why the College of Charleston was recently ranked No. 3 in the U.S. among master’s-level institutions for the total number of students who study abroad.

The Institute of International Education (IIE) has ranked the College among the top three institutions in the U.S. for the 2015-16 academic year when more than 1,000 Cougars studied abroad. That’s an increase from the previous academic year, which has propelled the College up the rankings list from fourth to third.

“These rankings from the Institute of International Education are the gold standard for success in the realm of study abroad,” explains Andrew Sobiesuo, the College’s associate provost for international education. “This recognition is highly regarded by universities and colleges.”

Sobiesuo adds that this new ranking is revealing regarding the College and the priorities it establishes for its students.

“As an institution, the College has committed to providing students with the global and interdisciplinary perspectives needed to address the social, economic, environmental, ethical, scientific and political issues of the 21st century,” he says. “What’s significant about this new ranking is it demonstrates that students have heard the message and are themselves committed to taking advantage of the opportunities we offer for studying abroad. In fact, 41.9 percent of all graduating seniors in 2016 had a study abroad experience. This is further proof that we are meeting our strategic goals as well as our students’ expectations.”

Sobiesuo credits the College’s faculty and staff for the growth and success of the institution’s study abroad programs in recent years. He says that the College’s Center for International Education now offers over 70 programs that students can enroll in, giving them educational opportunities across five different continents.

The College offers study abroad opportunities for fall, spring and summer semesters with courses taught by its own professors, as well as exchange and affiliate programs. Students can choose from a myriad of countries in which to study, including France, Chile, Spain, Germany, Japan, Estonia, Bali and Italy, among many others.

And studying abroad offers some major advantages, says Sobiesuo: “A student who participates in a study abroad program gains knowledge and skills that cannot be imparted in a classroom and ends up better equipped and empowered to address major challenges as a citizen of the world.”