The 2013 Open Doors Report on International Educational Exchange, released today, indicates that the number of international students at U.S. colleges and universities increased by 7 percent in the 2012-13 academic year. The report, issued by Institute of International Education (IIE) and the U.S. Department of State's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, also found that the number of U.S. students studying abroad increased by 3 percent in the 2011-12 academic year — the most recent year for which data is available.

The number of UCSC students studying abroad as part of year-long programs totaled 81, earning the campus a No. 12 ranking for the number of students engaged in "longer duration" study at foreign institutions.

"It has never been more important for U.S. students to gain global perspective by studying abroad," said Anne Butler, director of International Education at UCSC. "Students develop skills that will enable them to collaborate across cultures and borders to address shared global challenges of the future."

Butler said year-long programs are especially impactful. "We are gratified that so many of our UCSC students value longer duration study abroad experiences, as these year-long programs are particularly effective at providing lifelong academic, career, intercultural, personal, and social benefits to participants."

Including placements of any length, a total of 760 UCSC students studied in foreign institutions in the 2011-12 year through the UC Education Abroad Program or through independent study abroad providers.

The "open doors" report is issued each year in conjunction with the worldwide observance of International Education Week.

At UCSC, a number of activities are planned to celebrate the value of international education, Butler said. Those include an open house in the International Education Office, an International Dress Day, an international event at Woodstock's Pizza, a film and discussion session at the Merrill College Cultural Center, and a number of other college and department events. For a complete listing, go to this International Education Office web site.

"UC Santa Cruz is proud to join campuses around the country in celebrating cultural and educational exchange during the 13th annual International Education Week," Butler said.