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Wofford Among Nation’s Top 10 in ‘Study Abroad’ Programs

Tuesday, December 02, 2003

SPARTANBURG, SC – Wofford College continues to rank among the nation’s top 10 campuses in the proportion of students receiving credit for study abroad, according to “Open Doors 2003,” an annual report published by the Institute of International Education (IIE).

The estimate of the participation in study-abroad is made by examining the number of students studying abroad in a given year as a percentage of degree completions. Using the formula, Wofford’s ratio was 90.2, according to the report released recently for the 2001-2002 academic year. Wofford consistently has ranked among the top 10 colleges and universities in the proportion of students studying abroad, and was third last year.

Wofford is the only South Carolina college or university ranked in any of the report’s four categories — research institutions; doctoral institutions; master's institutions and baccalaureate institutions. All of the top 10 baccalaureate institutions scored higher than any campus ranked in the other categories.

“Studies abroad” programs at Wofford range from a full year at universities in Europe, Latin America and Asia to travel-study seminars and independent research during Wofford’s January Interim term. Wofford is affiliated with several study-abroad consortia, including the Institute for the International Education of Students and the Council on International Educational Exchange. Students are offered study in Europe, Australia, Asia, Latin America, and Canada.

“Dr. Ana María Wiseman, assistant dean of the college and director of study-abroad programs at Wofford, has made foreign study at Wofford more than just exotic travel,” says President Benjamin B. Dunlap. “Our students integrate their experiences around the globe with the broader understanding of the world fostered by a liberal arts curriculum. Understanding our world is essential, and these programs open the doors to understanding.”

Wiseman also is associate professor of foreign languages, and in 1999 received the Professional Development Award from the Institute for the International Education of Students for her work in the study-abroad field. She is currently on leave from Wofford directing the IES Amsterdam Center. Participating students from a wide variety of US universities may select courses at the University of Amsterdam as well as the Amsterdam School of Music and the Gerrit Rietveld Academie for the Visual Arts. While Wiseman is in Europe, Beth Hawley (Wofford Class of 2002), assistant director of programs abroad, is responsible for coordinating the program and advising interested students.

“The curriculum offered to Wofford students while in foreign residence is as varied as the curriculum to which they have access at Wofford,” Wiseman says. “Students may follow courses of study in art, architecture, economics, history and political science. At the same time, they can further their major in a chosen foreign language. What’s wonderful about Wofford’s study-abroad program is that financial aid assistance can be applied to foreign study fees. This gives our students the flexibility to study abroad and to extend their time studying in another country should they desire.”

Here is the complete list of the top 10 bachelor’s degree institutions, in order of ranking:

Eckerd College, Florida, 388 students, 123.6 percent participation.
Berea College, Kentucky, 244 students, 103.4 percent
Saint Olaf College, Minnesota, 643 students, 99.2 percent
Kalamazoo College, Michigan, 237 students, 98.8 percent
Austin College, Texas, 251 students, 94.7 percent
Earlham College, Indiana, 193 students, 94.6 percent
Wofford College, South Carolina, 221 students, 90.2 percent
Dickinson College, Pennsylvania, 406 students, 88.8 percent
Chatham College, Pennsylvania, 86 students, 88.7 percent
Lawrence University, New York, 174 students, 87.9 percent.