Numbers for students studying abroad for the Fall 2017 Semester are lower than previous years and compared to Winter Term. However, despite the Fall 2017 deadline being past due, interested students may still apply and add to that tally.
“We will probably have close to around 65,” said Neal McKinney, Assistant Director of Off-Campus Programs, in reference to the number of students studying abroad for this coming Fall Semester.
There were 50 students studying abroad last Fall and 63 students this Spring. 364 students took a class abroad for this Winter Term.
Although this number of students studying abroad for Fall 2017 may seem large, it is actually lower than past years. However, this drop is normal, according to Mandy Brookins Blinn, the assistant dean of experiential learning and director of off-campus programs.
“It’s very cyclical. Every year is different. We’ve been pretty consistent for the last few years,” said Blinn.
Additionally, Blinn cited reasons for the lower numbers as including the smaller overall class sizes of students, as well as the way the Hubbard Center may be structured.
“I also think that, with the way the Hubbard Center is structured, study abroad doesn’t always come out as forcefully as it could,” said Blinn. “Historically, we used to be a little bit more singularly focused, but now that we’re career services and study abroad and internships, it can get lost a little bit.”
Moreover, students tend to gravitate towards the Extended Studies options because they think they may be cheaper than going abroad for an entire semester, but that is not the case.
“It’s a much more affordable way to study abroad if you do it for the semester. It’s basically tuition and you get all of the credits you need to graduate, you can get major credit, all of your financial aid transfers, there’s additional scholarships as well,” said Blinn.
Despite the smaller number of students studying abroad, the destinations they’re going to have become more diverse.
“We have our first student going to India in a long time, we have a student going to Beirut, Bangkok, and another student going to Croatia,” recounted Blinn. “So there’s definitely some more diversity of location.”
If students are still interested in applying to study abroad for Fall 2017, then they are still able to do so.
“If they do want to, it’s definitely recommended they do it ASAP because we will begin our pre-departure orientations at the end of the month, at February,” said McKinney. “They need to come in and meet with us first.”
Senior Kate Emmert studied abroad in Fall 2015, but applied past the fall deadline. “It was literally almost April when I decided to apply to go abroad in the following fall, but I knew that that was what I wanted to do. I just kept talking to the right people at the Hubbard Center until they found the right program for me,” Emmert said.