Study abroad programs rank second nationally

by Dennis Brown

The University of Notre Dame has the second-highest percentage of students participating in study abroad programs among American research universities, according to a recently released report from the Institute of International Education (IIE).p. In 1999-2000, the most recent academic year for which statistics are available, 37 percent of Notre Dame students had participated in study programs in other countries. Yeshiva University in New York City ranked first in the report with a 38.8 percent participation rate.p. (Virtually all of Yeshiva’s study abroad students participate in the university’s S. Daniel Abraham Israel Program. Notre Dame offers international study programs in 17 nations worldwide: Australian, Austria, Brazil, Chile, China, England, Egypt, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Russia and Spain.) “The value of our study abroad programs has never been higher,” said Michael Francis, Notre Dame’s assistant provost for international studies. “In the aftermath of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, it’s more important than ever for students to experience different cultures, develop mutual understandings, and build stronger connections with men and women from other nations.”p. There is no indication that the terrorist attacks and subsequent U.S.-led war on terrorism have caused a decrease in the number of Notre Dame students applying for spring semester international study programs, according to Thomas Bogenschild, director of the University’s international and off-campus programs.p. The IIE’s report, titled “Open Doors 2001,” showed an overall 11 percent increase in students participating in international study programs from the previous year.p. “The dramatic increase in study abroad is very good news for our nation, as it shows that the next generation of leaders will have a greater understanding of the world around us,” said Allan E. Goodman, president and chief executive officer of the IIE. “This is a time when our world needs more international exchange, not less. The terrorists wish to make us close our minds, our borders, and our markets to the rest of the world, and we must make sure they do not succeed.”p. As it has been for many years, Europe is the most popular destination for American college students. The leading destination for Notre Dame students is London, with some 150 participating each semester at the University’s facility on Trafalgar Square.

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