ST. JOSEPH/COLLEGEVILLE -- For over a decade many students at the College of St. Benedict and St. John's University have made the decision to broaden their cultural horizons by studying abroad.

For the 12th year in a row St. Ben's and St. John's have been ranked among the top baccalaureate schools nationally, for their number of students participating in study abroad programs.

The Open Doors 2016 annual report on international education published by the Institute of International Education ranked the institutions as Number 3 for having a total of 524 students who studied abroad during the 2014-2015 school year. For 12 years both schools have ranked in the top 6 in this category.

St. Ben's and St. John's are also ranked Number 5 with 307 students who studied abroad in mid-length programs during 2014-2015. Mid-length programs last one semester (about four months) or two quarters.

Both schools offer 19 semester-long and 20 short-term study abroad programs. 56 percent of all St. Ben's and St. John's students will study abroad before graduating.

Nationally, the Open Doors Report found that 313,415 American students studied abroad in 2014-2015, which is a 2.9 percent increase from the 2013-2014 school year.

The top study abroad destinations for U.S. students include the United Kingdom, Italy and Spain.