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  POSTED ON: Thursday, March 26, 2020 11:05 AM by

ANNAPOLIS, Md. - The Naval Academy recently became the first service academy recognized by the NAFSA: Association of International Educators with the 2020 Senator Paul Simon Award for Campus Internationalization.

The NAFSA Simon Award for Comprehensive Internationalization is named after the late Senator Paul Simon of Illinois and distinguishes excellence in integrating international education through all facets of university and college campuses.  

NAFSA defines campus internationalization as a conscious effort to integrate and infuse international intercultural and global dimensions into the ethos and outcomes of their students’ education.

“Our graduates will be leaders in an unpredictable world,” said Naval Academy Superintendent Vice Adm. Sean Buck. “Strong global relationships and partnerships help mitigate this unpredictability. During the four-year undergraduate experience at the U.S. Naval Academy, our students must develop important leadership skills through the practical experience of working with other cultures.”

The Naval Academy International Programs Office serves as the focal point for information and coordination of all international engagements related to faculty, staff and midshipmen with official travel to international locations. The office was created in 2005 to enhance the globalization of midshipman education by seeking and creating opportunities that contribute to midshipman knowledge regarding strategically important geographic regions and proficiency in foreign languages as defined by Navy leadership.

In an average year, roughly 350 midshipmen go abroad to participate in an intentional international experience sponsored by the Naval Academy. These experiences include semester-long foreign naval academy exchange and civilian college programs, faculty-led and language immersion programs, and cultural opportunities. The semester study program supports 28 programs in 22 countries, the most recent additions to which include India, South Africa, Poland and Hungary. Since 2006, over 4,200 midshipmen have participated in meaningful experiences abroad. Through these intentional interactions, our Navy has benefitted from the relationships created and the understanding developed between our leaders in their formative stage of development.

Faculty and staff developed international program activities integrated across the moral, mental and physical areas of our mission.  As of Fall 2019, the resulting faculty and staff engagement is at its highest point in our history. Specifically, they:

  • Led groups of midshipmen abroad in increasing numbers, including for academic major capstone projects
  • Served as forum leaders in the five Center for Regional Studies forums (Africa, Asia, Eurasia, Latin America and the Middle East)
  • Reshaped several core curricular programs to include increased global content in addition to expanding and enriching our elective and majors program curriculum

Founded in 1845, the U.S. Naval Academy today is a prestigious four-year service academy that prepares midshipmen morally, mentally and physically to be professional officers in the naval service.  More than 4,400 men and women representing every state in the U.S. and several foreign countries make up the student body, known as the Brigade of Midshipmen. U.S. News and World Report has recognized the Naval Academy as a top five undergraduate engineering school and a top 20 best liberal arts college.  Midshipmen learn from military and civilian instructors and participate in intercollegiate varsity sports and extracurricular activities. They also study subjects such as leadership, ethics, small arms, drill, seamanship and navigation, tactics, naval engineering and weapons, cyber security, and military law.  Upon graduation, midshipmen earn a Bachelor of Science degree in a choice of 25 different subject majors and go on to serve at least five years of exciting and rewarding service as commissioned officers in the U.S. Navy or U.S. Marine Corps.

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For more information about the International Programs Office, please visit


Category: Academics, Press Releases