The office of Study Abroad at Baldwin Wallace University is currently looking to increase the number of students who study abroad each year.
This past October, BW pledged to increase the number of participants in the program to 30% by the year 2019. Currently, about 15% of the BW undergraduate population takes advantage of the programs offered. Nationally, 8% of undergraduate students look to study abroad.
In order to accomplish this goal, BW is working with Generation Study Abroad, which is a national initiative organized by the Institute of International Education. They believe that the international experience is one of the most important components of a 21st century education.
Studying abroad allows students to gain insight into a different culture while building up their resumes and making memories that last a lifetime.
The steps that BW will take to achieve their goal include implementing new faculty led programs, working with advisors, and educating students on the benefits of participating in the program.
“Simply put, it changes students’ lives. There is no better way to prepare our students to become contributing, compassionate citizens of an increasingly global society,” Christie King, BW Study Abroad Director, stated, “Studying off campus opens student’s eyes to different cultures, beliefs, religions, values, and languages,”
Studying abroad not only helps students become more cultured, but it also opens their eyes to the different lifestyles and current events that are shaping the course of human history.
“While studying off campus, students also typically find that they become more tolerant and more inquisitive about not only the world, but also national and local events they may have overlooked at another point in their life,” King added.
Studying abroad does not only impact the student, but also others that they come in contact with. “Students come back and enhance the lives of everyone surrounding them by telling stories of their experiences and engaging in meaningful conversations with family, students, faculty and staff” King said.
Students who have participated in BW study abroad programs are very supportive of the new ‘Generation Study Abroad’ initiative and often highly recommend BW students to participate in a study abroad.
“You don’t end a study abroad program; you may physically leave the country, the place, even the plane, but you carry with you moments that will forever impact you for the better. I think that is what is so incredible about this opportunity. I was given the chance to see the world anew, and in turn see a new me. I will forever be thankful for that,” Sydney Crago, a participant in the 2014 Spring European Seminar, said.
If interested in studying abroad, students should contact the Study Abroad Office which is located on the second floor of the Union.
“Our door is always open. We are happy to talk with all students, no matter what their individual situation is. We speak with students all the time who aren’t sure if they can afford it, if they’ll still graduate on time, or who have other logistical questions. Don’t let these be deterrents that keep you from a once in a life time experience,” King said.