Marist Tops Numerous International Programs Rankings
November 20, 2023 — Marist’s international programs rank better than ever before and continue to lead the nation.
According to the Institute of International Education, Marist once again ranks number one in the country for its full academic year abroad programs. And this year the College also captured the top spot for semester abroad programs for the first time ever, reflecting the value and popularity of Marist’s extensive international offerings for students.
The Institute publishes the rankings in collaboration with the U.S. Department of State in what’s called the Open Doors Report. The rankings are for the 2021-2022 academic year of master’s granting institutions.
In addition to earning these top rankings, Marist also moved up in numerous other categories in the report, including:
- #3 in the U.S. for total number of students studying abroad (up from #5 last year)
- #5 for overall study abroad participation rate (up from #9 last year)
- #11 for its short-term study abroad programs (up from #17 last year)
Students studying in Florence explore the city's rich history. Photo by Carlo de Jesus/Marist College.
The rankings add to previous accolades Marist has earned for its international programs, including the Senator Paul Simon Spotlight Award for the First-Year Florence and Dublin experiences, one of the most prestigious awards worldwide for excellence in international education. These unique first-year experiences enable incoming Marist students to spend their entire first year of college in either Florence or Dublin.
"Internationalization is a signature strength at Marist,” said Dr. John Peters, Associate Provost for International Engagement. “Navigating a new culture, through study abroad, or for our international students on the Poughkeepsie campus, is often cited as pivotal and transformative.”
About half of Marist students will spend time abroad as part of their education, nearly five times the national average. Marist’s branch campus in Florence, Italy continues to create opportunities for students across areas of study. Meanwhile, ever-expanding offerings in locations across the globe provide hands-on experience, internships, and cultural exchanges that have tremendous impact on student's development professionally and personally.
“Our students have these incredible opportunities to learn about themselves and the complexity and diversity of our shared story through international and intercultural exploration,” Peters said. “We strive to truly bring Marist to the world and the world to Marist.”
Students tour Spain with Madrid program director Isabel Carrasco Castro (center). Photo courtesy of Marist Abroad.
Programs offer wide-ranging experiences in all fields of study. For example, Elizabeth Plowman, who earned her degree in Human Biology in 2023, conducted research on neuroscience at a leading hospital in Madrid while studying with Marist’s program in Spain. The rigorous experience incorporated Plowman into every aspect of the research process.
“Marist’s Spain Program showed me how much I am capable of and allowed me to meet people from different life paths than myself,” said Plowman. “In pursuit of growth and a challenge, this was the perfect experience.”
Florence fashion students participate in 2023 Milan Fashion Week runway show. Photo by Jodi Hartmann, School of Communication and the Arts.
Gabrielle Brosnan '25 is a fashion merchandising major studying for a semester in Florence. She and her fellow students recently travelled to Milan to participate in Fashion Week, one of the industry’s most exclusive events in the world.
“Being able to travel around Italy to gain experience with such amazing individuals in the fashion industry put an emphasis on how semesters like these are a once in a lifetime opportunity,” said Brosnan. “The friends I have made, the teachers I have learned from, and the connections I have built here in Italy are truly one of a kind."
Marist students studying in Ireland explore the country. Photo courtesy of Marist Abroad.
Hunter Petro '27 is currently participating in the First-Year Dublin Experience program. Majoring in political science, Petro has his sights set on a career in international relations, and says that his time in Dublin has already been transformative for his life and goals.
“Whether it’s strolling through the city streets on my way to class, embarking on weekend getaways to new European countries, or immersing myself in a school environment that not only cares deeply about its students but involves them, spending my freshman year in Dublin was one of the best decisions for my college career and future,” said Petro.
The connections made while studying abroad create community for students that can last a lifetime.
“I had no idea at the time that my roommates would be some of the best friends I would ever have,” said Monica Dugan '24, who spent a semester studying at University College Cork in Ireland in spring, 2023. “We still talk every day, and they definitely made my experience super special. I absolutely loved Cork, and it became home so quickly.”
Some other offerings that contribute to Marist’s nation-leading programs include:
- Multi-City Semester in Asia: The Asia Study Abroad Program (ASAP) consists of a full-semester visiting multiple countries. Geared toward business majors, but open to any interested student, the curriculum features visits to companies across the region to learn about management and organization.
- Hawaii Teaching Connection: Participating in an abroad experience does not always mean you need a passport. Education majors can student teach in Hawaii, thanks to Marist’s strong network of alumni there and partnership with the Hawaii State Department of Education.
- Ghana PA Clinical Rotations: The Marist School of Science collaborates with University of Cape Coast to offer students in the Physician’s Assistant master’s program the opportunity to complete clinical work in Ghana.
Marist continues its commitment to helping financial need students take full advantage of these and other study abroad opportunities as well. The Presidential Fund for Equity in the Marist Experience helps students attain support for a range of educational experiences, including short-term attachment courses abroad. Nearly 50 students were awarded a total of about $150,000 from this fund in the 2023 spring semester.