The Observer is a Student-run, daily print & online newspaper serving Notre Dame & Saint Mary's. Learn more about us.



Leaves of absence for study abroad limited

Michaels, Amanda | Tuesday, October 14, 2003

Students dissatisfied with Notre Dame’s study abroad offerings who are pursuing alternatives may find themselves campus-bound if they are not careful.

In a decision passed down by the Office of the Provost, the number of leaves of absence that the College of Arts and Letters grants to those going outside the University to study abroad has been reduced from 40 to 16.

Ava Preacher, assistant dean for undergraduate studies in the College of Arts and Letters, cited budgetary concerns as a cause for the reduction.

“A student who applies for one of these alternative programs does not pay Notre Dame tuition,” Preacher said. “So we’d like to have fewer students going abroad through other schools, unless they have an overriding academic need to do so. The University has always had the ability to say that a study abroad program was not more appropriate than its own.”

Those traveling to countries in Africa or East Asia, where Notre Dame’s International Studies programs fall short, will be given priority for leave grants. Preacher also added that, in the past, all 40 leaves of absence were not used, so their further limitation was practical.

Though the decision is said to affect each college, Douglass Hemphill, assistant professional specialist in the Office of the Dean of the Mendoza College of Business, said he was not aware of any such reduction.

“To the best of my knowledge, we have not been given any kind of quota or limit or number,” said Hemphill. “The focus is on filling Notre Dame’s [study abroad] programs.”

Sister Kathleen Cannon, associate dean of the College of Science, said that their limit is seven leaves of absence and has been so for years.

“With our programs, we know what the numbers [of participants] are and can plan accordingly. If we had no way of limiting those going outside of Notre Dame for study abroad, we would have no handle on what was [happening] on campus,” said Cannon.

Because of the rarity of alternative study abroad participants within the School of Architecture and the College of Engineering, the limit for each school has not been tested.

For those who are affected by the cutbacks, Preacher suggested investigating summer courses or some of the undersubscribed programs within Notre Dame.