Centre College again ranked #1 in the nation for study abroad

Posted by Centre News in CentreTerm, News, Rankings, Study Abroad 17 Nov 2014

Study Abroad Ranking 2014 PSFor the second time in the last three years, Centre College has been ranked #1 in the nation for study abroad. The recognition comes from the Institute of International Education (IIE), the leading nonprofit educational and cultural exchange organization in the United States, in its annual “Open Doors” report.

Centre won the top spot again in the category of undergraduate participation rates among baccalaureate institutions. The 2014 ranking is based on data from the 2012-13 academic year.

The top spot was previously awarded to Centre by the IIE two years ago. Over the last 10 years, Centre has been ranked #2 once, #3 and #4 two times, #5 once and no lower than #7.

In addition to the IIE ranking, Centre is consistently rated a national leader in international education by other leading sources. Both U.S. News & World Report and the Princeton Review ranked Centre #4 in the nation for study abroad this year, each using a separate methodology. On average, 85 percent of Centre students study abroad by the time they graduate.

Because the IIE “Open Doors” methodology includes study abroad experiences that are three weeks or longer in its calculation, with the number of graduates that year as the denominator, the College’s significant number of international CentreTerm offerings during January are included. If a student also studies abroad for a longer term that same year, both experiences are counted. As a result, institutions receiving the top participation rankings typically exceed 100 percent.

This accounts for Centre’s participation rate this year of 132.1 percent. In fact, the top six institutions all exceeded 100 percent: the College of Saint Benedict/Saint John’s University (119 percent), Taylor University (109.5), Wofford College (108.9), Saint Olaf College (104.7) and Goucher College (102.5). Centre’s highest participation rate was 134.2 percent (2012), followed by 132.4 (2013) and 119.9 (2010).

According to Dr. Milton Reigelman, director of the College’s Center for Global Citizenship, “Centre is able to send so many students abroad in large part because of the intense global interests and surprising international expertise of our faculty.”

When the IIE calculates its ranking for 2015, for instance, an abundance of interesting CentreTerm experiences from 2014 that spanned the globe and took place on several continents will be included.

Drs. Joe Workman and Kerry Paumi took students to New Zealand to study volcanoes, and another co-taught course, by Drs. Kyle Anderson and Chris Paskewich, involved travel to Shanghai and Thailand to study Buddhist religion and culture. In addition, Dr. Jonathan Earle took students to Rwanda and Uganda to study African religion and politics, Dr. Christian Haskett brought students to India to study religion, Dr. Stephen Dove led a course to Guatemala to study human rights, Dr. Brian Storz conducted a course on marine biology in the Bahamas and Dr. Tony Haigh took students to England to study regional theater.

In all, as is typical of any given year, nearly 200 Centre students took specialized classes with Centre faculty or conducted internships in places around the world in January 2014. This coming January 2015, students will study in Barbados, Belgium, Budapest and Prague, Cambodia and Thailand, Cameroon, Greece, Israel and Jordan, London, Peru and Spain.

“I’m particularly pleased,” commented Reigelman, “that our younger faculty have embraced study abroad so whole-heartedly and propose January courses in such interesting and important places to which Americans don’t generally travel.”

Students also will participate in semester-long courses directed by Centre faculty in London, England; Strasbourg, France; and Merida, Mexico. Other destinations include Yamaguchi, Japan, as well as Northern Ireland and Spain.

Now in its third year, a number of students will study in Glasgow, Scotland, a program especially attractive to students interested in science or preparing for medical school. And those wanting to study Mandarin and conduct an internship in China’s largest city will study at Shanghai’s Tongji University.

The Institute of International Education was created in 1919 after the end of World War I to promote peace through international educational exchange. Its “Open Doors” report first appeared in 1949. Issued each November ever since, the report is regarded as the authoritative source on international education, tracking trends of American students studying abroad and international students who study in the United States.

The “Open Doors” report is supported by a grant from the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs at the U.S. Department of State.

Learn more about the “Open Doors” report.

Learn more about study abroad and global citizenship at Centre College.

by Michael Strysick

Photo: Natalie Pope ‘13 traveled extensively—in Cambodia, China, Panama, Turkey, Vietnam and Cambodia (pictured here at the Angkor Wat temple complex in Siem Reap). A Brown Fellow, she also studied Mandarin and Arabic and even designed her own major in Middle Eastern Studies, working closely with Centre faculty.