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University of Delaware Leads Public Universities

University of Delaware Leads Public Universities
In Study Abroad Participation

The University of Delaware ranks first among the nation’s public colleges and universities in study abroad participation, according to a report released last month.

The Institute of International Education ranked UD first among public universities and 12th overall, with 32.1 percent of its undergraduate students doing scholarly work overseas. Georgetown University, at 64.3 percent, had the highest percentage for private institutions.

“The provision of study abroad opportunities for UD students is a high priority,” university president Dr. David P. Roselle said in a statement on the university’s Web site. “The university is deeply indebted to the donors who have made possible increases in the number of study abroad scholarships. However, we recognize that additional scholarship support is a key issue for there to be further growth in the number of students who participate.”

UD awards more than $300,000 in scholarships annually for study abroad according to financial need and academic merit. The university annually offers more than 70 programs in 35 countries and all seven continents. Last year, 1,477 students participated in study abroad, up from the previous year’s 1,303.

Nationally, a record number of students are studying abroad this year, an increase of 9.6 percent over 2004, according to the study.

Romance language professor Tom Lathrop is taking 24 students on a four-week trip to Brazil this winter. The majority of the students are not language majors, so they’re taking a course in “survival Portuguese” before they leave.

Lathrop applauds UD’s study abroad programs, but said he wishes more students would spend a semester or a year abroad to gain more insight into the country and the culture.

“We have a lot of numbers, but most are winter session people,” Lathrop says. “A year would be ideal. I don’t think you can do it, though, because the faculty wants you to whet your appetite there [over winter] and take other classes here. We don’t want to export our students.”

The report was part of Open Doors 2005, the annual survey on international education published by the education institute with funding from the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.

— Associated Press

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