Nov 18, 2002
Calvin College is again one of the top schools in the country for students who study abroad.
In 2000-2001 the school had 486 students studying in other countries. That placed Calvin seventh in the category of master's institutions, just ahead of Philadelphia's Villanova University. Grand Valley State University was 15th in the category with 355 students.
The figures come from Institute for International Education and its annual "Open Doors" statistical report.
With an enrollment of about 4,300 students in 2000-2001, Calvin's percentage of students studying abroad that year is significant. Indeed, the 486 students who were overseas in 2000-2001 represent 11 percent of the total student body that year! In fact, when ranked by percentage Calvin rises to third in its category (since many of the schools in Calvin's category are significantly bigger than Calvin).
Study abroad is an important component of a Calvin education. The school's off-campus programs effort allows Calvin students to travel to 10 destinations for semester-long study programs, including two in Honduras as well as programs in Britain, China, France, Ghana, Hungary and Spain. Calvin also has semester-long U.S. programs in New Mexico and Washington, D.C. For students who need a program focus not available in Calvin's own programs, the off-campus programs office helps them find one that suits their needs.
Says Calvin's Ellen Monsma (above), director of off-campus programs: "Off-campus programs broaden students' horizons significantly. Not only do they study academic courses, they also learn how to live in new and sometimes very different cultures. That demands a lot of flexibility and self-reliance. Returning to campus, students generally have a clearer idea of who they are. And they have a new perspective both on the world and on their Christian calling."
More and more Calvin students are taking advantage of the chance to study abroad in Calvin sponsored programs. Almost 50% of Calvin's Class of 2002 studied abroad at some point during their Calvin career. For about two-thirds of those students their study abroad came during Calvin's three-week January term called Interim. About one-third of the students who study abroad do so for an entire semester.