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Does studying abroad delay graduation?

Alan Flurry

Studying abroad in college can be a glamorous, once-in-a-lifetime learning opportunity.

But is it also a distraction that slows students from completing degrees and moving on with careers? According to a new study from the University System of Georgia, not at all.

The study compiled semester-by-semester records from 221,981 students across 35 U.S. institutions. Of those students, more than 30,000 had studied abroad.

The analysis found education abroad had positive impacts on graduation within four and six years and on cumulative GPA. It also revealed that students who study abroad earn slightly more credits, but it takes them less time to complete a degree.

“Graduation rates and time to graduation lie at the heart of the central value proposition for higher education,” said Donald Rubin, professor emeritus in communication studies at the University of Georgia’s Franklin College of Arts and Sciences.

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Image: author photo of The Roman Forum 

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