Students studying outside the library

Wofford ranks 9th among national study abroad leaders

College on Open Doors’ Top 40 Baccalaureate Institutions list

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Nicholas Bermudez '18 of Charlotte, N.C., who is majoring in Spanish and environmental studies, visited Patagonia while studying abroad in Buenos Aires.
2016-11-16

SPARTANBURG, S.C. – Wofford College continues to be recognized as a national leader in study abroad participation, ranking #9 in the Open Doors Report on International Education Exchange’s list of the top 40 baccalaureate institutions in the percentage of students studying abroad for credit. The report was released this week.

Wofford is the only South Carolina institution on the list of top institutions in percentage of students studying abroad for credit.

Open Doors also ranked Wofford #21 in the total number of study abroad students among its list of the top 40 baccalaureate institutions.

“Wofford has been among the top 10 baccalaureate institutions on the Open Doors Report for the past 20 years, and there are many reasons for that,” says Dr. Mike Sosulski, provost. “As a national residential liberal arts college, we pride ourselves on providing opportunities for our students to learn lessons that go far beyond what they might learn in the classroom. We are preparing our students to become leaders in the world, to have a global reach in their thinking and problem solving, and to make a difference. Studying abroad gives them culturally immersive experiences that broaden their perspectives and their understanding of themselves in the globally connected world.”

Amy Lancaster, dean of international programs, adds, “We are committed to connecting our students with both local and global communities. Through language immersion, rigorous academic programming, impactful research and internship opportunities, and culturally rich living contexts, our students demonstrate resilience, intercultural awareness and empathy. These are skills that will prove vital in the workplace and in their lives as citizens of an increasingly interconnected world.” The majority of Wofford’s study abroad participants this academic year will study overseas during the January Interim. Interim is the reason that Wofford also ranked #20 on the list of colleges that offer short-term opportunities for study abroad experiences.

“We have 200 students studying across the globe in January, including faculty-led opportunities to explore the history, culture and economies of Sweden, Norway, Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Ecuador, Italy, Germany, France, Poland, Czech Republic and the Cayman Islands,” Lancaster says. “In addition, students will study alongside students from other U.S. colleges and universities with our study abroad partners in Chile, France, Italy and the United Kingdom.”

Wofford is committed to providing students with a global learning experience, regardless of their field of study, socioeconomic background or athletics or co-curricular activities. Participation in study abroad continues to grow, Lancaster says, with record 68 percent of the class of 2016 having studied abroad at least once; more than a third of these students majored in STEM areas. Wofford students have studied abroad in 70 countries on all seven continents in the past decade.

“Wofford encourages and assists students wishing to study abroad through a variety of scholarships and travel grants, both need and merit-based,” Lancaster says. “In addition to the $41,500 in Wofford Travel Grants awarded for Interim 2017, we also awarded more than $15,000 for study abroad among underrepresented groups. We are proud that any academically qualified student can afford to study abroad for a semester thanks to our generous financial aid transfer policy. It’s clear that study abroad is a valuable part of the Wofford student experience, and we will continue to examine ways to make it more accessible to all of our students.”

To read more about Wofford’s study abroad program, visit www.wofford.edu/internationalprograms. To read the full Open Doors report, go to www.iie.org/research-and-publications/open-doors.