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Dartmouth is the #1 Ivy for study abroad

Dartmouth College Office of Public Affairs • Press Release
Posted 11/16/09 • Media Contact: Steve Smith (603) 646-3661

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Dartmouth once again ranks first among Ivy League schools for study abroad participation rate, according to the Institute of International Education's 2009 Open Doors report. More than 650 Dartmouth undergraduates studied abroad in 2007-2008, which compared to the number of 2008 graduates reflects 61 percent participation. It is the sixth highest rate among all doctorate-granting institutions.

A historic leader in off-campus programs, the College celebrated its 50th anniversary of study abroad in 2008. A higher percentage of Dartmouth students have studied abroad annually over the past 32 years than at any of the seven other Ivy institutions, according to Open Doors' historic data. On a national level, the 2009 Open Doors report noted that the number of students studying abroad increased by 8.5 percent over last year and has increased four-fold in the past two decades.

at in a day
Katie Moerlein '08 (left) Sarah Theledi (middle) and Nathan Mazonson '09 (right) at the home of Theledi and her husband, Simon Nkuna, in Pretoria, South Africa. Moerlein lived with Theledi and Nkuna during the Environmental Studies Foreign Study Program in fall 2008. See multimedia from this program. (Photo by Steve Smith)

Speaking to the origins of international study at Dartmouth, Associate Dean of International and Interdisciplinary Programs Lindsay Whaley says: “The American experience in World War II underscored the need to envision an education that was global in scope. The College’s president at the time, John Sloan Dickey, recognized this and sought to recast the Dartmouth experience in international terms. Since then study abroad has become an integral part of this global approach to education."

Dartmouth's 48 different programs take place in 23 countries covering six continents. Some top programs by enrollment include the Spanish Language Study Abroad (LSA) program in Barcelona, Spain; the Asian and Middle Eastern languages and literatures Foreign Study Program (FSP) in Beijing, China; the French LSA in Lyon, France; and the government FSP at the London School of Economics. LSAs are sponsored by language departments and FSPs are focused on both language and non-language disciplines. Twenty-one academic departments offer programs.

Study abroad at Dartmouth is distinctive for a number of reasons, but primarily, "because the programs are led and taught by Dartmouth faculty members who have in-depth expertise on the topic and the country," says John Tansey, executive director of Off-Campus Programs and a former administrator for the Peace Corps. “This ensures the quality of the academic experience,” says Tansey.

at in a day
Anthropologist Eduardo Merlo with Alaina Smith '09 (partially hidden) and Karen Sen '10 during the Spanish Language Study Abroad program based in Puebla, Mexico, in winter 2008. (Photo by Kawakahi Amina '09)

Tansey adds that faculty  involvement increases student enrollment, as do the College’s financial aid initiatives, which help qualified students pay for costs such as plane fare, ground transportation, and meals. Dartmouth’s year-round quarterly calendar also offers scheduling flexibility. 

"It's tradition—it’s an expected part of our Dartmouth experience," says Jocelyn Krauss, Class of 2010, who studied Portuguese and Brazilian literature and culture in summer 2009 in Salvador, Brazil. “When you are getting to know someone here you ask them the basic questions: ‘Where are you from?’, ‘What’s your major?’, and ‘Have you studied abroad?’”

Tansey says that off-campus study is constantly evolving to focus on new disciplines in new geographic areas. A new interdisciplinary program in Hyderabad, India, is offered in the 2011 winter term by the departments of Women and Gender studies and Asian and Middle Eastern languages and literatures, and there are also new exchange programs at South Korea’s Yonsei University and Thailand’s Chulalongkorn University.

Whaley, who is also professor of classics and linguistics, has spent years in China studying the language of the Oroqen people. He says the study abroad experience has both immediate and long-lasting benefits. “Not only do students acquire rare first-hand information, be it through living with Maori and Kiwi families in New Zealand or by studying Arabic in Morocco, but they often end up viewing themselves and the world through a larger lens. Many alumni consider it to be the most influential aspect of their Dartmouth education.”

Learn more about study abroad at Dartmouth: 

Dartmouth has television (satellite uplink) and radio (ISDN) studios available for domestic and international live and taped interviews. For more information, call 603-646-3661 or see our Radio, Television capability webpage.

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