illustration of people making a globe

We Are the World

Do you remember that song from 1985? It raised a lot of awareness and millions of dollars for famine-stricken countries. 

Illustration by Daniel Herzberg

I am betting that the mere mention of it may have some of you humming and straining to remember the lyrics. While the tune holds little currency with Tulane students today, its title is a very apt description of the university, and the universe, they are currently experiencing.

We like to brag that Tulane students travel farther than any students — an average of 900 miles — to attend college. That means students come from distant hometowns within the continental United States, but increasingly our geographic diversity is encompassing the world.

More than 1,300 international students from more than 85 countries now call Tulane home. China, India and Spain are the leaders. This international population brings vast benefits to our students, to Tulane and to the world.
Classrooms that reflect the world’s rich variety of thought, perspectives and insights, that view problems through a global lens and find solutions for a common good are the best at equipping our students to be the leaders and innovators of a better tomorrow. 

Tulane students from around the globe engage in a transformative, innovative learning experience that can create positive change throughout the world. A good example is recent Tulane graduate Taofeeq Adebayo. A native of Nigeria, he collaborated with fellow students to create a Yoruba language version of Longman’s Basic Science 1 for middle school students. He recently returned to Nigeria where he worked in schools, teaching from the translated text and providing students a level of understanding that can only be gained by encountering a subject in one’s native language. 

Tulane students from around the globe engage in a transformative, innovative learning experience that can create positive change throughout the world.

MIKE FITTS, President

While we bring some of the top international scholars to campus, we also send U.S. students into the global community as partners in addressing its greatest challenges and embracing its most promising opportunities. For the fourth consecutive year, Tulane ranked first among graduate schools for the number of volunteers who join the Peace Corps and No. 3 among medium-sized undergraduate schools.

Through study abroad programs, student and faculty exchanges, and our international research efforts in infectious diseases, environmental degradation and poverty, Tulane is a worldwide presence, a global force for good.

We have researchers studying Ebola in Africa, examining the impact of humans in the Amazonian rainforest and discovering ways to improve outcomes for HIV-infected children across the globe. We have students preparing to lead the global economy by participating in academic innovations such as the Jeffrey A. Altman Program in International Studies and Business, which includes liberal arts courses, business classes and a year studying abroad.

You may have noticed that the issues, problems and promises Tulane encounters through its growing global posture are the same ones we face here at home. “We’re saving our own lives” is the way the musicians phrased it in “We Are the World.” Tunes like that tend to get stuck in your head. Maybe that’s a good thing.