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Education Abroad Office

  • SAO Staff Receiving Award

Study Abroad Wins Fourth National Innovation Award


COLUMBIA, S.C., (June 6, 2016) — Staff from the Education Abroad Office at the University of South Carolina recently returned from the NAFSA: Association of International Educators conference in Denver, Colorado where they won a national GoAbroad Innovation Award and attended workshops held to enhance the field of international education.

The Education Abroad Office received the Innovation in Alumni Engagement award from, recognizing their success in implementing the Graduation with Leadership Distinction Global Learning Pathway, in partnership with USC Connect. Students who demonstrate extensive beyond-the-classroom engagement in one of four pathways can earn the honor of GLD on their diploma. The Global Learning pathway is targeted to study abroad alumni and spearheaded by the SAO.

To receive the GLD in Global Learning, students must spend at least 12 weeks abroad, participate in three enhancement activities such as workshops, lectures, and cultural events, earn six credits from an approved list of globally-themed courses, complete a presentation or publication related to global learning, and complete a GLD E-portfolio demonstrating their within-and-beyond the classroom global learning experiences. In 2014-2015, 21 students completed GLD in Global Learning, and an additional 49 are signed up for 2015-2016 academic year, with 162 indicating interest for the following year.

This is the fourth consecutive GoAbroad Innovation Award that the USC Education Abroad Office has won since the awards were introduced in 2011. It won the 2015 Marketing & Digital Media award for its U101 “See the World” presentation, the 2014 Innovation in Access & Equity award for the Beyond Boundaries Initiative, and the 2013 Innovative New Program award for the International Perspectives on Higher Education faculty-staff study abroad program. The USC Education Abroad Office is also the only institution to have won four GoAbroad Innovation Awards total, not including those awards given to individual students or staff in the field. The Education Abroad Office has been a finalist in at least one category every year.

Winners are determined by The GoAbroad Innovations Academy, a panel of leaders in the field who vote on the five finalists in each award category. The purpose of the annual GoAbroad Innovation awards is to acknowledge institutions, organizations and individuals who are creating initiatives to advance the field of international education. 

For more information, view the full list of this year’s GoAbroad Innovation Award recipients.

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