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U.S. News Ranks Schools with the Best Study Abroad Programs

Dave_BerryDave_Berry 492 replies2648 threadsCC Admissions Expert Senior Member
"U.S. News & World Report has released a list ranking the nation's top collegiate study abroad programs. Rankings are based on nominations from college presidents, chief academic officers, deans of students, and deans of admissions at more than 1,500 institutions. School officials also nominated colleges and universities in seven other categories: first-year experiences, co-ops/internships, learning communities, senior capstone, service learning, undergraduate research/creative projects, and writing in the disciplines. To mark the end of International Education Week, here are the colleges and universities with the 10 best study abroad programs:

10. Agnes Scott College Decatur, GA

9. Michigan State University East Lansing, MI

8. Dickinson College Carlisle, PA" ...

https://www.languagemagazine.com/2019/11/22/u-s-news-world-report-ranks-schools-with-the-best-study-abroad-programs/
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Replies to: U.S. News Ranks Schools with the Best Study Abroad Programs

  • itsgettingreal17itsgettingreal17 4098 replies27 threads Senior Member
    edited November 23
    That’s a totally random list as I’ve looked at some of those in depth and the offerings are weaker than other schools.
    edited November 23
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  • MaineLonghornMaineLonghorn 39007 replies2140 threads Super Moderator
    Usually Susquehanna ranks highly on these lists, so I'm surprised it's down at #26 on this one.
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  • merc81merc81 10590 replies164 threads Senior Member
    edited November 23
    I tend to respect abroad programs that emphasize rigor and skill development -- in particular, those that establish immersion in language and culture through a pledge by students to speak no English. It's not clear whether this aspect was considered by U.S. News survey respondents.
    edited November 23
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  • dadof2ddadof2d 219 replies14 threads Junior Member
    The Institute of International Education has just released a new report with tabulations of study abroad data for different categories of colleges that may be of interest:

    https://www.iie.org/Research-and-Insights/Open-Doors/Data/US-Study-Abroad/Leading-Institutions
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  • roycroftmomroycroftmom 3100 replies39 threads Senior Member
    Many students study abroad for reasons other than language immersion. I would expect the USNWR considers factors like ease of studying abroad, transfer of credits, variety of different programs in length, size, subject matter, transition assistance before or upon returning to campus, affordability, percentage of students participating.
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  • merc81merc81 10590 replies164 threads Senior Member
    edited November 24
    I would expect the USNWR considers factors like . . .

    Note, though, that it's U.S. News survey respondents who determine the ranking.
    edited November 24
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  • bester1bester1 1434 replies5 threads Senior Member
    Perhaps the most ridiculous list of all time.
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  • roycroftmomroycroftmom 3100 replies39 threads Senior Member
    No different than any other list, which often seem highly regarded here
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  • RichInPittRichInPitt 1250 replies17 threads Senior Member
    edited November 26
    No different than any other list, which often seem highly regarded here

    Actually, it’s very different from many of the lists discussed here. And simple popularity contests are often criticized for methodology, just as this one has been.

    This simple ranking of how many times a school was listed is actually quite different from USNews’ overall national university ranking methodology.
    edited November 26
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  • roycroftmomroycroftmom 3100 replies39 threads Senior Member
    So maybe the title should be "best known study abroad programs" or even "programs most highly regarded by college officials". Presumably, such programs are well known and highly regarded on some legit basis.
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  • juilletjuillet 12690 replies161 threads Super Moderator
    I came to ask the same question that tk asked. At the very least, why didn't they ask study abroad advisors? Study abroad advisors are familiar with who the other big players in the field are.

    The reason the list is the way it is is because those are universities that created their own top study abroad programs OR that are recognized for having study abroad as a key part of the curriculum. NYU and Arcadia, for example, are two of the nation's top offering universities of study abroad programs. Butler, Northeastern, and Pepperdine (which are further down on the list) are also universities that have created a wide range of study abroad programs.

    However, those programs are by and large accessible by *any* college student - you don't have to go to Butler, NYU, or Arcadia to engage the vast majority of their study abroad programs. My undergraduate college, for example, allowed students to attend any of those universities' programs and get credit.

    What I find more interesting are colleges who have study abroad as a key part of their undergrad experience or do something impressive with it.

    For example, Goucher College doen't actually create or administer most of the programs their students attend. If you look at the list on their website, they are the same study abroad programs everyone else is doing (USAC, SIT, IFE, some universities in the UK and in Japan that set up exchange agreements with tons of U.S. schools). The ones they do create are short courses over break periods that are taught by faculty of the college. BUT Goucher requires a study abroad experience for all of their students, and it's a key part of their education and experience at the college.

    And (not without a small bit of bias), I was hoping my alma mater might be on there and they are, at #32. Spelman's in a similar boat to Goucher, where most of the programs they have are run and administered by other universities. What I think makes them stand out is that Spelman is also a college that has lots of students from lower-income families - 50% of Spelman students are Pell grant eligible - yet the college is still in the top 30 colleges in sending students to study abroad. One in five Spelman students studies abroad during her time there. But that's because the college finds scholarships and financial aid to help students study abroad.

    Agnes Scott's place on the list is similar - because it's such an important part of their curriculum and because so many of their students are low-income yet they still find the right programs and financial aid to encourage their students to go.
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  • tk21769tk21769 10671 replies27 threads Senior Member
    Many students study abroad for reasons other than language immersion.

    Like, the food? What exactly are the learning objectives of these programs, if not foreign language mastery? And if we can't agree on those objectives, how do we identify the best programs?
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  • dadof2ddadof2d 219 replies14 threads Junior Member
    @tk21769
    My Daughter will be studying math in Budapest. You can study for an interim term, a semester, or a year. There is a brief language component, but math "Hungarian style" is definitely the objective.
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  • VickiSoCalVickiSoCal 3401 replies33 threads Senior Member
    @tk21769 many students go to the UK or other English speaking countries for study abroad. Still a different cultural experience and somewhat different style of teaching even if they speak English.
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  • roycroftmomroycroftmom 3100 replies39 threads Senior Member
    American students study abroad for many of the same reasons internationals study in the states. There are outstanding higher educational facilities in many countries, regardless of language immersion. So it might make sense to study physics in Switzerland, art in Italy, math in Germany, etc
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  • mackinawmackinaw 3036 replies54 threads Senior Member
    There are many reason to study abroad. When my son attended University of Chicago, he wanted a study abroad experience to broaden his cultural sensibilities. As a major in economics at the University of Chicago, spending his junior at the London School of Economics provided just what he most needed. From that base he had interesting curricular activities as well as chances to explore the UK and Western Europe. This didn't involve learning a second language, though he did pick up some English dialects!
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  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus 78992 replies701 threads Senior Member
    tk21769 wrote: »
    Many students study abroad for reasons other than language immersion.

    Like, the food? What exactly are the learning objectives of these programs, if not foreign language mastery? And if we can't agree on those objectives, how do we identify the best programs?

    Some American students study abroad or do their entire degrees in English speaking places like England for various reasons that presumably do not prioritize other language immersion.
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