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Calvin 4th in Country for Study Abroad
November 14 , 2006

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.

In the latest IIE report, Calvin ranked fourth in the country among baccalaureate institutions for the number of students studying abroad in the 2004-2005 school year. Calvin had 527 students studying off campus that year, trailing only Minnesota's St. Olaf College, College of St. Benedict/St. John's University, also in Minnesota, and Lee University, Tenn.

Grand Valley State was 12th among master's institutions with 465 students abroad in 2004-2005 and Michigan State was second among doctoral and research institutions with 2,385 students abroad.

Over the past decade, the number of U.S. students studying abroad has more than doubled. Those numbers are buoyed in part by growing numbers of students heading to destinations in Asia and South America.

In addition Open Doors 2006 data shows that the largest growth area is short-term study. The majority (56%) of U.S. students elected summer, January term and other programs of less than one semester.

Calvin has both semester-long programs abroad as well as numerous three-week programs abroad during the college's January term (called Interim). 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."

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 ninth in the country among baccalaureate institutions for number of international students on campus. In 2004-2005 Calvin had 298 international students.