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Compiled by Office for International Study   Date: 11/19/09 Bookmark and Share

Smith Again Tops in Sending Students Abroad

Smith is once again at the top of the list among baccalaureate institutions nationally for sending the largest number of its students abroad for a full year in 2007-08, as reported by the 2009 Open Doors Report. The 149 Smith students who studied abroad for a year represents 50 percent of the total number of students who went abroad, to 42 different countries, in 2007-08.

While faculty and administrators urge students to consider a study abroad experience, returned students can best relate its benefits. So, in their words, here are nine reasons to study abroad from seniors who ventured outside the United States last year.

Scenes from abroad (click on pictures for enlarged view).

1. Explore your field of study

“I think this experience was specifically helpful to my architecture major as I was able to really experience design and architecture instead of merely reading about it.” Panchali Ellepola, Copenhagen

2. Master the language

“I'm not sure when but at one point it just clicked and I no longer had to think in English before I spoke German.” Shanell Paulk, Hamburg

3. Make new friends

“Living in an international environment was such an enriching experience. I loved living in a student apartment-style building, cooking with people from all over the world, talking about their experiences and political issues.” Marguerite Davenport, Geneva

4. Explore a new culture

“Open your eyes, try something new. You will never understand someone else’s culture until you take time to live in it.” Cassandra Chao, Beijing and Shanghai

5. Grow up

“This is a very good year to learn how to manage your money.” Paris student

6. Re-enforce your academic plans

“I know that I chose the right major. I tried a lot of other classes and activities outside of my field because I was interested in them, and I believed that they have enriched me, but I know now more than ever that the path I started on at Smith was the right one.” Maxine Battis, Geneva

7. Change your mind

“I changed my mind about what I'd like to do after Smith as a direct result of classes taken in Paris.” Rachel Weston, Paris

8. Appreciate Smith

“Studying abroad in Australia has also definitely improved my study skills and also taught me to appreciate and take more advantage of the wonderful programs offered at Smith, such as the CDO and Quantitative Learning Center.” Amirah Nelson, Melbourne

9. Live outside the box

“It was an INTENSE, rough, beautiful, rewarding, frustrating and unforgettable experience. Living in Dakar is maintaining a lifestyle that constantly revolves around never-ending patience, guts, and willingness to try again, again and again.” Sarah S. Miller, Dakar

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