SPARTANBURG, SOUTH CAROLINA—Wofford College’s study abroad program remains among the highest ranked in the United States. In fact, it’s continuing to climb, according to the Institute of International Education (IIE).
The institute’s Open Doors 2021 Report, released each year during International Education Week, ranks Wofford No. 7 in the percentage of students participating. It’s also No. 7 on the list of leading baccalaureate colleges awarding credit for study abroad and No. 4 among baccalaureate institutions for short-term study abroad.
“Wofford’s high percentage of study abroad participants is reflective of a campus community that is committed to lifelong learning and a curiosity about the world,” says Amy Lancaster, Wofford’s dean of international programs. “The college continues to explore ways to make study abroad experiences more accessible and to better prepare our students for success overseas. Not only do these experiences prepare our students to be more engaged with the world around them, study abroad alumni are also more competitive in the job market. Studies have shown that college graduates who studied abroad earn as much as $7,000 to $10,000 more annually than those who did not study abroad.”
Studying abroad has long been a popular pursuit of Wofford students, and it’s becoming even more in demand. In 2019, 275 Wofford students studied abroad during Interim (January) and the summer. In 2020, 325 students studied abroad during Interim alone. Despite the COVID-19 global pandemic, interest remains high as 75 students are currently studying overseas during the fall 2021 semester. More than 220 students plan to participate in Interim programs abroad during January 2021.
“The pandemic has made study abroad challenging, and the Office of International Programs has had to help students manage expectations and disappointment while monitoring travel restrictions and evolving COVID-19 protocols,” Lancaster says. “Our students have demonstrated incredible patience and resilience in being able to pivot and adjust their plans accordingly in order to make their long-awaited dreams of studying abroad a reality.”
Compared to the 2020 report, Wofford moved up two spots in the percentage of students participating in study abroad. It moved up six spots on the list of colleges awarding credit and eight spots among institutions offering short-term study abroad. Wofford’s 2021 rankings for credit awarded and short-term study abroad are all-time highs.