Rhodes College Among Nation’s Top Baccalaureate Institutions for Study Abroad

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Publication Date: 11/18/2008

Rhodes is among the nation’s top baccalaureate institutions for study abroad, according to the Open Doors 2008 report released November 17 by the Institute of International Education (IIE). Rhodes ranked in three categories: 12th for percentage of undergraduate participation; 20th for sending students abroad for a short-term duration; and 40th for total numbers of study abroad students.

Rhodes’ ranking for percentage of undergraduate participation is up from its 18th ranking in the 2007 report. The category is based on the number of undergraduate students who participated in study-abroad programs (271 Rhodes students) and the number of undergraduate degrees conferred (323) for an estimated 83.9 percent participation. Ranked first in the category with more than 100 percent of undergraduate participation is Austin College. Following Rhodes are Washington and Lee University, Macalester College, Davidson College, Middlebury College and Pomona College, among others.

IIE has published Open Doors since 1949 and receives support from the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs of the U.S. Department of State. The 2008 report analyzes data from the 2006-2007 academic year collected in the 2007-2008 academic year and is the most recent data available. Findings can be accessed at www.opendoors.iienetwork.org

“We want students to engage in opportunities that complement and supplement their education at 2000 North Parkway,” says Katherine Owen Richardson, Director of International Programs at Rhodes. She notes that study abroad opportunities have been a priority at the college since the founding of the venerable British Studies at Oxford program 40 years ago. In recent years, the emphasis has only increased.

Partly as a result of serving on the Abraham Lincoln Study Abroad Fellowship Commission, a bipartisan panel charged by Congress and President Bush with recommending a program to expand greatly the opportunity for American college students to study abroad, Rhodes president William E. Troutt has been tireless in his efforts to increase those opportunities for Rhodes students.

“As the Lincoln Commission report states, ‘For their own future and that of the nation, college graduates today must be internationally competent,’” Troutt says. “Local economies are no longer local. It is increasingly difficult to identify American companies or organizations that don′t rely on some type of international relationship. One in six American jobs is now tied to international trade.

Rhodes’ standing in the national ratings is evidence that Troutt’s efforts are bearing fruit. Dr. William DeLauder, former executive director of the Lincoln Commission, visited Rhodes November 17 to assess the progress. “Rhodes is doing extremely well in the study abroad area,” he said.