From the oceanic shores of South Africa to the historic architecture of Europe, during any given academic year, DePauw students can be found studying, gaining work experience or immersing themselves in dozens of countries across several continents. According to the Open Doors Report on International Educational Exchange, DePauw ranked 7 among the nation’s other 4-year baccalaureate colleges for number of students who receive credit for study abroad.
“A lot of that has to do with our winter term and summer term programming,” said director of off-campus programs at DePauw's Hubbard Center for Student Engagement, Mandy Brookins. A majority of students, about 300 to 400 a year, study abroad during the short-term faculty-led programs, and about 125 to 130 students study abroad during the semester, she added.
During the 2017-18 school year, 571 DePauw students participated in a study abroad program. Brookins expects high study abroad numbers to continue as long as there are enough faculty-led programs to offer to interested students.
Despite DePauw’s current situation, which has included 56 staff layoffs and early buyouts for faculty, Brookins does not anticipate it to affect study abroad numbers.
In addition to the university’s operating funds, alumni and donors have gifted supporting grants and scholarships to ensure that students can study abroad, said Brookins. “We may look at some strategic changes to the types of programs we offer, but it’s not going to change the philosophy of our value of study abroad.”
Sophomore Jonathan Kroeger, who attended DePauw with the intention of studying abroad, will be spending this fall studying music in Vienna, Austria. “On a personal level, it’ll get me more accustomed to the people and the area. Professionally, I’ll be studying the music that I’m most familiar with in the area that it came from.”
Gaining language proficiency and familiarity with a country other than the United States has motivated Sophomore Tiaga Tamura to apply for study abroad. He will spend this fall in Barcelona, Spain.
Brookins said that, according to the National Association of Colleges and Employers, employers are looking for skills such as problem-solving, adaptability, the ability to work in diverse teams, and strong written and verbal communication skills. “All of those skills can be attributed back to a study abroad or international experience.”
“We live in a globalized economy where there are problems and issues facing the world and all require some sort of collaborative nature to it in order to solve or even address some of these problems,” said Brookins. “You have to be adaptable and understand where your role fits into the picture, and study abroad can do that.”