Centre College maintains its #3 national ranking for study abroad participation rates at an undergraduate institution in the recent “Open Doors” report by the Institute of International Education (IIE). The College’s program is currently focused on increasing inclusion and readiness to assist students in preparing for more diverse on-campus curriculum and off-campus futures.
“We are not holding a rank so much as growing through it,” said Kyle Anderson, director of the Center for Global Citizenship (CGC). “Receiving another #3 ranking in an exploding field of institutions demonstrates a growing college-wide commitment to international education. The support of our board members, administration, staff and faculty only continues to grow. Preparation for a life of leadership, learning and service in a global content is who we are.”
Beginning in the 2017-18 academic year, Anderson said the CGC has been earnestly engaged in the expansion of the study abroad programming to new areas of the globe, including West Africa, Southeast and South Asia, Latin America and key domestic cities, including New York.
“A few research projects are currently underway as well that will help the CGC to see more clearly study abroad’s impact on diverse student populations on campus,” he added.
The kinds of attributes and skills that are strengthened by participating in the program include communication, confidence, curiosity, flexibility, language, problem solving and interpersonal skills, among others. Gaining additional education in these areas provides a rich and harmonious campus community, as well as gives students an employment advantage.
Anderson credits the success of Centre’s study abroad program to the curiosity of its students and the expert and caring faculty that teach the courses.
The opportunity for students to study abroad, along with a free passport for every incoming first-year, is a guarantee in the Centre Commitment.
“I am meeting more and more prospective and new students who choose Centre precisely for its focus on international education,” Anderson said. “In a political climate where nations seems to be retreating internally, Centre remains an institutional beacon for multi-lateral, international engagement. The students who come to Centre want to be a part of a cooperative, peaceful, inclusive and connected planet.”
The IIE “Open Doors” report is unique in that it calculates the number of study abroad experiences for academic credit in a given year divided by the number of graduates. If a student studies abroad, say, in the fall as well as during the College’s three-week CentreTerm in January, he or she is counted twice. Since this is not uncommon, Centre’s participation rate often exceeds 100 percent, as it did again this year, for the seventh time in a row.
The 2018 IIE ranking was based on data from the 2016-17 academic year, which saw 395 students taking advantage of Centre’s study abroad program.
In total, 85 percent of Centre students have studied abroad at least once during their college career and over 30 percent have traveled two or more times.
“More than 60 percent of our faculty participate in study abroad, making international experiences an integral part of their lives, teaching, scholarship and research,” Anderson added. “Faculty bring that rich knowledge to their domestic and international classrooms every day.”
Centre’s signature long-term, residential programs in Strasbourg, France; Merida, Mexico; and London, England are completely staffed and run by the College. In each of these cities, students live with fellow Centre participants, sometimes in homestays with local residents, and are taught by Centre professors and local experts.
Other semester-long programs are available in Shanghai, China; Reading, England; Regensburg, Germany; Yamaguchi, Japan; Glasgow, Scotland; Northern Ireland options at Queens or Ulster universities; and Segovia, Spain.
The three-week CentreTerm programs span the world and are often team-taught with an interdisciplinary focus. Upcoming CentreTerm courses in January 2019 include travel to Belgium, Belize, Cuba, England, France, Germany, Ghana, Italy, Japan, Merida, Spain, Thailand, Singapore and Uganda.
“Keep an eye out for lots of exciting new programs and research to come from our office in the next couple of years,” Anderson concluded.
Learn more about study abroad and global citizenship at Centre College.
Follow #CentreAbroad on social media to track the study abroad student experience in destinations across the world.
by Kerry Steinhofer
November 28, 2018