Opening Doors: Study Abroad at Marist
POUGHKEEPSIE (March 3, 2014) – Marist is among the top colleges and universities in the nation when it comes to sending students to study abroad, according to the latest "Open Doors" report, the Institute for International Education’s authoritative source on international exchange in higher education.
Among Master’s degree-granting institutions, nationally, Marist ranks 13th in terms of undergraduate participation in study abroad programs, at 50 percent. The College is 18th in terms of total students studying abroad, at 551. Marist ranks 3rd for number of students participating in long-term study abroad programs (full academic or calendar year) and 6th for participation in mid-length (a semester or more) programs.
Dr. Thomas Wermuth, vice president for academic affairs and dean of faculty, says studying abroad gives Marist students a unique experience while furthering the College’s mission to help them develop the intellect, character, and skills required for enlightened, ethical, and productive lives in the global community of the 21st century.
"Living and working in the global community requires a well-rounded skillset, including knowledge of history and politics, language and culture, interpersonal communication skills, integrity, and personal drive," Wermuth says. "Study abroad offers students the opportunity to develop, practice, and hone these skills while reflecting on what impact they want to have on the world."
Beyond the intellectual benefits, Wermuth notes, are the unique academic opportunities provided by studying art in Florence, fashion in Paris, and parliamentary politics in London.
Marist students looking to study abroad can choose from as many as 65 programs in 30 countries throughout Africa, Asia and the Pacific, the Americas, the Middle East, and Europe, including the College’s own branch campus in Florence, Italy.
Wermuth credits the success of Marist’s International Programs Office, strong institutional support from the College for the steady growth in student participation and the number and diversity of study abroad options. Students themselves are the best ambassadors when it comes to spreading the message about the value of study abroad, as well as the appeal of particular programs, whether through word-of-mouth or “The Globetrotter,” the International Programs magazine, where students share their experiences and advice from abroad.
John Peters, dean of international programs, says student interest in study abroad has surged in recent years, as the number and diversity of programs has increased. That critical mass is helping to further define Marist for prospective students.
"We’ve become one of the schools that students identify with study abroad," Peters says. "Engaging with other cultures, stepping outside your comfort zone – study abroad is increasingly a core part of a liberal arts education because it goes so far toward fostering independence and creating a flexible, well-rounded person."