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Calvin Among Study Abroad Leaders
November 15, 2005

The Institute for International Education (IIE) has released its annual "Open Doors" report, a summary of study abroad by U.S. college and university students.

Michigan State, Calvin College and Grand Valley State University are all among the top 20 in their respective categories.

Calvin has had a strong study abroad emphasis for several decades and annually is among the top schools in the country for students who study abroad.

According to a survey of graduating seniors done last spring, 60 percent of the Calvin class of 2005 had studied off-campus, either in an interim course or a semester program, or both, during their time at Calvin.

And in the latest IIE report, Calvin ranked fourth in the country among baccalaureate institutions for the number of students studying abroad in the 2003-2004 school year. Calvin had 489 students studying off campus that year, trailing only Minnesota's St. Olaf College, Lee, Tenn., and Colgate, N.Y. nationally. Calvin dropped two spots from a year ago when it had 524 students abroad.

While Calvin College annually sends numerous students abroad for study, it also is becoming a place where many students come from other countries for a four-year, liberal arts degree. In the latest Open Doors report Calvin is rated seventh in the country among baccalaureate institutions for number of international students on campus. In 2004-2005 Calvin had 324 international students, trailing only BYU in Hawaii, the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York, Utah Valley State College , the University of Dallas - Irving, the University of Hawaii at Hilo and Mount Holyoke in Massachusetts.

The IIE report notes that study abroad in non-traditional destinations is expanding rapidly, especially to countries where American students see potential career opportunities. Study abroad in China increased by a dramatic 90 percent.

At Calvin students can live and study in China as well as such countries as Honduras, Ghana, Hungary, Spain and more. Calvin also has semester-long U.S. programs in New Mexico and Washington, D.C.

Calvin director of off campus programs Ellen Monsma says the college believes that off-campus study programs broaden a student's perspectives on both the world and the kingdom of God, enhance a student's self-discipline and provide students with "coherent, comprehensive and authentic learning experiences that have an unusually deep and long-lasting effect."

Other state schools also fared well in this year's study abroad rankings.

Among master's institutions Grand Valley State University ranked 16th in the country with 360 students abroad (one student ahead of the prior year). And Michigan State University was second among doctoral and research institutions with 2,269 students abroad in 2003-2004.

Findings from the report were released at a November 14 press briefing at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C.


For more on the Open Doors report see
For more on Calvin College study abroad options see