Newswise — The California State University is the country's largest system of senior higher education, but its educational impact stretches far beyond California and even the nation. This international reach was highlighted at the NAFSA conference in Los Angeles May 28 - June 2. 

The annual gathering hosted by the world's largest nonprofit association dedicated to international education gives thousands of education professionals from more than 100 countries the opportunity to learn and connect.

With this year's event taking place in California, the CSU had a special opportunity to highlight campus' academic partnerships with universities throughout the world. Every year, thousands of CSU students study abroad at these partner institutions and thousands of international students study at a CSU. These international activities benefit our students and make California a destination for talented students from around the world. Global learning has long been identified as a high impact practice that leads to increased levels of student achievement.

"Students who study abroad acquire international skills and real world experience necessary for today's global workforce," said CSU Assistant Vice Chancellor for International and Off-Campus Programs Leo Van Cleve. "Employers value this ability to look at things from a different point of view."

Throughout the conference, Van Cleve joined other CSU leaders including Executive Vice Chancellor for Academic and Student Affairs Loren Blanchard to share the value of international partnerships. While addressing a plenary session sponsored by the CSU, Blanchard noted that campus' robust international partnerships contribute toward the CSU's high-quality education.

"International programs serve as a gateway to innovation and education," Blanchard said. "They broaden students' horizons and deepen their understanding of the world."

Whether through campus-based programs or programs from the Office of International Programs at the CSU Chancellor's Office, thousands of CSU students study abroad each year. The system office administers the systemwide student exchange program, which has exchange agreements with more than 60 institutions across the globe.

More than 20,000 international exchange students study at a CSU. Their participation depends on various factors including the number of exchange places available at the 23 CSU campuses.

Learn more about the CSU's International Programs here.