The Project for Learning Abroad, Training and Outreach (PLATO) is an integrated study abroad training, certification, and diversity outreach program which provides comprehensive support resources for study abroad to all U.S. college and university students Ė with special support for underrepresented students, PLATO:
first national online curriculum to orient, train, and support
students before, during, and after they study abroad, highlighting
the health and safety concerns of institutions and students;
a national recruitment program for underrepresented students for
education abroad, as well as a clearinghouse of resources and
information that promote greater diversity among study abroad
participants and mentors, including efforts such as K-12 and
Community College outreach;
returning study abroad students who have completed the online
curriculum and outreach through an International Honors
at A Glance - See a visual representation of all components of the
This innovative and challenging project, built on the Center for Global Educationís previous efforts through the SAFETI Clearinghouse Project, provides support to hundreds of institutions and thousands of students across the U.S. through the PLATO Project.
PLATO responds to the U.S. higher educationís challenge to have no
student left behind through the inclusion of a greater number of
underrepresented students in study abroad.
Most students participate in shorter-term programs (less than
10% study abroad for more than one semester),
and many students from
underrepresented backgrounds may come from institutions with only a
limited infrastructure to support study abroad students.
To enhance the study abroad experience for all participants,
PLATO provides Online Curriculum to help any
student at any U.S. college or university choose an appropriate study
abroad program and then prepare for study abroad, with resources for
practical support (emphasizing health and safety) and intellectual
support (emphasizing a greater understanding of the U.S. and the
country where they will study). Through PLATO, the Center has developed new Online
Mentorship resources to help respond to the special challenges of
underrepresented students during study abroad.
Following completion of their study abroad program, PLATO guides
students through post-study abroad reentry and reintegration to their home campus and the US.
Furthermore, PLATO provides a mechanism for them to reflect on their experience, consider avenues
for incorporating an international component into their curriculum,
and train for the K-12 and Community College Home Campus Outreach
portion of PLATO. Earning the PLATO International Honors
Certificate recognizes achievement and knowledge gained through
study abroad and completion of all PLATO components.
a national project located at University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), is supported through
a grant from the US Department of Educationís Fund for the
Improvement of Postsecondary Education (FIPSE) Comprehensive program.
The Department of Education promotes excellence in education for
all Americans through educational support programs. The
Comprehensive Program is the central grant competition of the Fund for
the Improvement of Postsecondary Education (FIPSE). The competition is
designed to support innovative reform projects that hold promise as
models for the resolution of important issues and problems in