June 21, 2004

Emory undergrads rank high for study abroad


By Katherine Baust

Emory ranked ninth among Top 20 research institutions for undergraduate participation in study abroad programs, according to a survey by the Institute of International Education (IIE), with some 36.6 percent of Emory undergrads studying abroad.

"I believe," said Phillip Wainwright, director of the Center for International Programs Abroad (CIPA), "that the number might actually be closer to 40 percent or even higher because some Emory students study abroad but do not coordinate their programs through the CIPA office. Once the Office of International Affairs completes its senior survey this year, the results will show Emory in an even better light."

According to the Institute for Comparative and International Studies' (ICIS) 2002-03 annual report, the five most popular study abroad summer programs are British studies at Oxford; Italian studies in Italy; Iberian studies in Spain; and psychology's programs in Britain and Ireland. The top five majors studying abroad are international studies, political science, economics, history and sociology.

Traditionally, the majority of programs have been geared toward social science or humanities majors; however, ICIS has begun to create opportunities for science majors.   The neuroscience and behavioral biology program has paired with its counterpart at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland to exchange faculty and students. A similar program with the University of Siena in Italy will offer students study-abroad opportunities in practical chemistry.

"This pairing of cultural studies and science will, as it develops, become a model for integrating a world perspective for all Emory College students in all majors," said Gordon Newby, ICIS executive director.

Established in 1988, ICIS is dedicated to the advancement of comparative and international scholarship and education through developing, sponsoring and administering collaborative projects with Emory faculty and departments in the arts and sciences. ICIS' components include CIPA, the Emory College Language Center (ECLC), area studies programs and ICIS outreach initiatives. CIPA develops and administers study-abroad programs for numerous countries and disciplines. ECLC provides laboratory, faculty resources and communication technologies for language learning and teaching. ICIS coordinates area studies and interdisciplinary programs. Since 1993-94, study abroad programs at Emory have increased by 72 percent.