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Study abroad decision imminent

Justin Tardiff | Wednesday, February 16, 2005

For most students who applied to Notre Dame’s study abroad programs, the wait is almost over. Within the next few days, students who applied to the most popular programs – London, Dublin, Australia, Italy, Spain or France – should receive a decision regarding their applications. Director of International Study Programs Thomas Bogenschild said students who applied to the most popular programs will receive notice before the less popular programs. “We tend to focus on the programs that are most highly subscribed,” he said. “About 70 percent of applicants [will find out] at once.”Bogenschild said the overwhelming number of applicants caused a delay in notifications, which originally were supposed to be sent last week.”It’s a long process [of] 1,300 applications that you have to read, and we only have a staff of six,” he said. Bogenschild said financial reasons delayed the decisions as well.”The Board of Trustees met on the 4th [and] it’s a week later so we need to accommodate our load to budget realities,” he said.Students are eager to find out whether they will be spending next year at Note Dame or overseas.Sophomore Emily Kane, who applied to Dublin and Australia, expressed doubt about the news she will receive today.”I think a lot of people applied to Australia and Dublin,” Kane said.Sophomore Kyle Wilson had similar feelings of uncertainty about his application, yet remained excited about the prospect of studying abroad.”I think my chances are all right. I’ve got to get out of South Bend for a semester,” he said. Wilson is among those who received word through email from Peggy Webber that their decision would be in the mailbox this morning. Webber is the Assistant Director of Operations for the International Studies Program. Students who are accepted today, and in the coming week, must confirm their decision by Feb. 21 so students on the waiting list have the opportunity to fill in. Some students couldn’t wait until today to find out. Thanks to her rectress Candace Carson, Welsh Family sophomore Kelsey Miller already found out that she was accepted to the Santiago, Chile program. Unlike Kane and Wilson, she was confident throughout the whole application process.”Almost everyone who applies to Chile gets in because it’s not that popular of a place to go,” Miller said.The abroad programs are open to all applicants, but Bogenschild said there are specific qualifications he and his staff look for in applicants.”Everything we ask on the application [counts],” he said. “A lot depends on the nature of the program, the academic rigor, the student’s academic background.”Statistics show more women than men are accepted into Notre Dame’s abroad programs because more women apply. The school’s ratio between women and men abroad is consistent with national averages of 55 percent women to 45 percent men, Bogenschild said. A student’s major can have an effect, as well.”There are programs that fit certain majors better, but most of our programs accommodate,” he said. “It becomes more difficult in engineering and finance.”