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Study abroad programs rank sixth nationally

Author: Arts and Letters


The University of Notre Dame has the sixth-highest percentage among American research universities of students participating in study abroad programs, according to a recently released report from the Institute of International Education (IIE).

In 2005-06, the most recent academic year for which statistics are available, 57.6 percent of Notre Dame students had participated in study programs in other countries. Yeshiva University in New York ranked first in the report with a 75.1 percent participation rate.

Notre Dame offers semester and year-long international study programs in 17 countries worldwide: Australia, Austria, Brazil, Chile, China, Egypt, England, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Russia, Spain and Uganda. This summer, students will have additional options, including special programs in Amsterdam, Rome, Paris and Vienna.

“Year after year, Notre Dame students prove their mettle by diving into new socio-cultural milieus and tackling linguistic challenges in a daily, sustained manner as citizens of our host communities abroad,” said Julia Douthwaite, Notre Dame’s assistant provost for international studies. “We are delighted with the ongoing high rate of interest in international study, especially with our emphasis on local cultural integration. This outcome is the result of much collaboration among faculty, administrators and students anchored in the excellent language and area studies curriculum, as well as programs that allow students to receive credit and continue progress toward graduation while studying in one of 17 countries worldwide.”

The IIE’s report, titled “Open Doors 2007,” showed an overall 8.5 percent increase in students participating in international study programs from the previous year.

Language and cultural skills are increasingly valued by employers and vital to America’s national interest, according to Allan E. Goodman, president and chief executive officer of the IIE.

“Students should get a passport along with their student ID,” Goodman said, “and they should use it to study abroad at least once during their academic careers. The opportunity for more young Americans to study abroad is a goal shared by the president, the secretary of state, and leaders in Congress, industry and academia.”

The increases reported in “Open Doors 2007” reflect a growing interest in non-traditional destinations for American college students. There was a 26 percent increase in students going to Asia, 31 percent increase to the Middle East (although Middle Eastern nations host only one percent of Americans studying abroad), 19 percent increase to Africa, and 14 percent increase to Latin America. Some 58 percent of all U.S. students who study abroad do so in Europe. However, this represents a smaller proportion of students than in prior years (down from 60 percent in 2004-05 and 65 percent a decade ago).

The leading destination for Notre Dame students is London, with some 130 participating each semester at the University’s facility next to Trafalgar Square.

Contact: Anthony M. Messina, acting assistant provost for international studies, 574-631-5203,

Originally published by Shannon Chapla at on November 12, 2007.