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 Bordeaux and Beyond: 50 Years of Education Abroad


Bordeaux and Beyond

Browse a timeline of UCEAP's half-century...

In the fall of 1962, several dozen students from the University of California set out for France, to spend a year studying at the University of Bordeaux.

They were the first participants in the UC Education Abroad Program, and they got the program off to a fine start, according to the first Associate Director, Paul Pitman, who later recalled:


"If any Regent had had misgivings about the wisdom of this new undertaking, he must have been assured by the performance of these pioneers. ….At year’s end, some of the French professors who had refused to admit them to their lectures came to the Study Center Director asking, ‘May we have some of the California students next year?' "


UCEAP has sent students to Bordeaux in each of the last 49 years since. Now, though, it also has programs in China, Chile, Turkey and Tanzania—a total of 36 countries across six continents—run in partnership with more than 100 institutions around the globe, including some of the world’s finest universities.
As it celebrates its 50th anniversary in 2012, UCEAP is among the best study abroad programs in the nation. Each year it offers international education opportunities to more than 4,500 UC students, and it brings 1,700 others from around the world to study at UC campuses.
The UCEAP community now comprises nearly 100,000 alumni, hundreds of UC faculty and administrators and the many other supporters who have helped build the program into what it is today.
UCEAP will mark its 50th anniversary with celebrations and at academic events in California and around the world.​

Browse a timeline of UCEAP's half-century...

"EAP is not for weaklings. Neither is it for academic grinds. Rather, it is for the well-rounded, the multifaceted. It is not for adventurers but for the adventurous, the daring, the curious, the intellectually hungry. It is for young people who are committed, who wish to make their lives count, who wish to invest them in some kind of creative achievement. …The EAP adds a new dimension to one’s education. …The experience gives one a new appreciation of oneself. It prepares one to live creatively in the 21st century.”
 --Paul Pitman, UCEAP's first Associate Director
"The quality of the academic experience and the the quality of the cross-cultural experience were basic to the success of the EAP."
--William Allaway, Founding Director


By the numbers:

How we've grown over the last 50 years 

UCEAP Participation, 1962-2010
The number of UC students studying abroad every year through UCEAP has exploded over the program's 50-year history: from those first 80 UCEAP participants who went to Bordeaux in 1962, to the more than 4,500 who studied abroad during the 2010-2011 academic year. Nearly all of them were undergraduates, making UCEAP the largest undergraduate exchange program in the United States.
UCEAP Participation, 2001-2010
The last decade has been a time of great growth for UCEAP: The number of UC students studying abroad each year through the program doubled.

UCEAP Participation, by campus
Of the 10 UC campuses, UC Santa Barbara--where the program originated--sends the most students abroad through UCEAP, followed closely by UC Berkeley; Around 1 in 5 UCEAP students come from UCSB and another 1 in 5 are from UCB.


UCEAP Participation, by program length
UCEAP participants can choose from year-long, semester and quarter immersion programs as well as summer programs and focus programs taught in English. Over the last decade, student interest in summer programs has swelled. They're now by far the most popular of all the programs UCEAP offers.










UCEAP now operates in 36 countries with more than 100 partner institutions, giving students affordable access to some of the world’s finest universities.


UCEAP Participants: Destination
The most popular destinations for studying abroad are in Western Europe (2,685 students in 2010-2011), followed by East Asia (1,006) and Central and South America/Latin America (450). The most popular country for UCEAP study is England (801 of the 4,808 students in 2010-2011), followed by Italy (482), Spain (461), France (413) and Korea (312).






As well as offering UC students the opportunity to study abroad, UCEAP's reciprocal exchange program enables students from partner institutions around the world to study at UC campuses.


Reciprocity Students, by campus
In total, about 23,000 international students have participated in UCEAP reciprocity programs. In the 2010-2011 academic year, 1,731 reciprocity students attended UC campuses. UC Santa Barbara and UC Berkeley, which send the most students abroad through UCEAP, also host the highest numbers of reciprocity students.