Centre College ranked #3 in the nation for study abroad

Posted by Centre News in Centre In The News, Featured News, News, Rankings, Study Abroad 14 Nov 2013

The recently released “Open Doors” report on study abroad trends by the Institute of International Education (IIE) once again recognizes Centre College as among the nation’s leaders in international education. The College earned a #3 national ranking this year for study abroad participation rates for an undergraduate college.

Centre has consistently ranked among the top colleges in the nation in the “Open Doors” report over the last several years, earning the #1 ranking this past year.

This high praise for study abroad follows a clear trend among all leading rankings and guidebooks.

U.S. News & World Report ranked Centre #4 in the nation for study abroad this year. The U.S. News ranking considers all colleges and universities, public or private, large or small. Similarly, Princeton Review ranked Centre #8 in the nation for study abroad.

study_abroad_stonehenge_englandWhile the rankings each use a different methodology, the consensus is clear: the vast majority of Centre students can truly be considered global citizens upon graduation.

The IIE “Open Doors” ranking is unique in that it calculates the number of student study abroad experiences, three weeks or longer, in a given year divided by the number of graduates. It’s not uncommon for the very top schools such as Centre to have participation rates that exceed 100 percent, because a student might study abroad two or more terms over the course of an academic year.

In the case of Centre, the College’s three-week “CentreTerm” in January offers an abundance of study abroad options that end up being included in the IIE calculation and account for Centre’s participation rate of 132.4 percent. This figure, drawn from 2011-12 academic year data, is slightly below #2 Webber International University at 134.8 percent and #1 Soka University of America at 138.3 percent.

An average 86 percent of Centre students study abroad during their college career. Around 25 percent study abroad two or more times and 6 percent three or more. Next year’s IIE ranking, using data from the 2012-13 academic year, will include four Centre students who studied abroad four times and one who studied abroad five.

Centre’s study abroad program is considered by many to be the nation’s premier program because the strong focus on global citizenship involves Centre faculty designing and teaching courses and directing the residential programs.

Semester-long programs in London and Strasbourg are among the most popular, but students also flock to the College’s residential site in Merida, Mexico, as well as programs in Yamaguchi, Japan, and in Northern Ireland and Spain. A new program in Glasgow, Scotland, is especially attractive to students interested in science or preparing for medical school. Centre also recently relocated its popular China program to Shanghai’s Tongji University.

The three-week CentreTerm programs span the globe and are generally team-taught with an interdisciplinary focus. Recent destinations brought students to Greece, China, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Austria, Peru and Spain. Upcoming CentreTerm courses this January include travel to Guatemala, India, New Zealand, Thailand, Uganda and Rwanda.

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.

For more information about the “Open Doors” report, visit the IEE website.

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

By Michael Strysick