College Number One in Long-term Study Abroad
College sends more of its students to study abroad for full
academic-year programs than any other baccalaureate institution
in the country, according to statistics from the Open Doors
2007 Report on International Education Exchange, an annual
survey produced by the (IIE).
which tracks information on study-abroad trends among American
institutions, has been conducted every year since 1985-86.
The Open Doors program surveys more than 1,500 accredited
colleges and universities throughout the United States.
The 2007 survey reflects a study conducted in the academic
year 2005-06, which is the most recent data available. It
showed that Smith sent 150 students abroad that year. Mount
Holyoke College ranked seventh on the long-term list with
72 of its students studying abroad; Wellesley College ranked
ninth on the list with 66 students.
American students are studying abroad in record numbers,
according to the annual report, which was released Nov. 12.
With an increase of 8.5 percent, the total number of American
students studying abroad was 223, 534, the report found,
with 26 percent going to Asia, 14 percent in Latin America,
19 percent in Africa and 31 percent in the Middle East.
A full academic year abroad gives students the best opportunity
to immerse themselves not only in their academic program,
but also to engage in the culture of the host country and
to form friendships and lasting relationships with others
students and colleagues, notes Alison Noyes, assistant dean
for international study at Smith.
“We’re proud of the number of our students who
choose to study abroad for a full year,” said Noyes. “The
longer length transforms the study-abroad experience from
a visit into a more immersed situation in which students
are living within a different culture. That’s what
students often seek when they study abroad: how to view the
world from another perspective.”
Smith has sought to cultivate
study-abroad opportunities for many years, and sent students
to programs in 37 countries on five continents this year.
Smith’s robust study-abroad
network has led to a high yield of students winning fellowships
to work and study abroad, says Greg White, professor of government,
who mentors Fulbright candidates at Smith.
“We often talk about Smith as a ‘world college,’” he
said. “There’s a strong interest and an emphasis
on going abroad here that is, perhaps, unique. Time and time
again, the successful Fulbright candidates are those who
have been abroad.”
In addition to the 14 Smith students named as Fulbright
fellows this year, the college helped 49 alumnae and current
students win fellowships with several other programs in a
variety of countries.
IIE is an independent nonprofit organization that promotes
relations between the United States and other countries through
training and educational programs.