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OIS releases study abroad decisions

Tori Roeck | Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Antsy students are dreaming of Big Ben, the Colosseum and the Parthenon this week in the wake of Friday’s release of study abroad decisions from the Office of International Studies (OIS) for the 2012-2013 academic year.

Kathleen Opel, director of OIS, said her department is “as excited as ever” for next year’s class of international scholars.

“We’ve given our decision, and now [students] need to either confirm that they’re going to accept or decline the offer,” Opel said. “If that’s the case, then we’re able to offer that spot to somebody else. “

Opel said OIS received a total of 1,535 applications from 1,005 students. Out of the 1,005 students who applied, 754 were accepted into a study abroad program for next year, she said.

Out of these 754 accepted students, Opel said 721 were admitted to their first choice program.

Additionally, 245 students were waitlisted for study abroad programs. Opel said she has seen an increase in the popularity of English language programs such as London, Dublin and Perth, making them more competitive for students to get into.

“Specifically the programs that we have in English tend to be those that can suit the needs of business, science, engineering and Arts and Letters students,” Opel said. “There is a growing number of business students, and because of that growth in the College of Business, where they do not have a language requirement, more of those students are gravitating toward programs where language is not a requirement.”

Opel also said spring programs are more popular overall than those in the fall “by a very small margin.”

The number of applicants remained relatively stagnant from last year’s numbers. Last year, 1,011 students applied for study abroad programs during the academic year and 780 students were initially accepted.

Waitlisted students should not lose hope, Opel said, because some students do choose not to attend the program in which they have been accepted.

Opel’s advice to waitlisted students is “be patient and be optimistic.”

“We will stay in touch with [waitlisted] students and let them know at what point we’ve pretty much filled capacity and don’t see any more changes coming,” Opel said.

Opel added accepted students should begin to think about what is required of them before they travel abroad. OIS will offer pre-departure programs in the coming months for students studying abroad during the fall 2012 semester, but she said they should work on obtaining a passport and familiarizing themselves with safety and security measures as soon as possible.

“By the time [students studying abroad] leave campus, they should have a pretty good grounding of what to expect when they get there,” she said.

Sophomore Matt Hayes said he is already gearing up to spend the spring 2013 semester in Bologna, Italy.

A Program of Liberal Studies and Italian major, Hayes said he hopes to become fluent in Italian during his time abroad.

“I chose Bologna for the opportunity to become fluent and study at an actual Italian university,” he said.

Hayes also plans to spend Easter at the Vatican. However, he said he is most looking forward to the food.

“Bologna is called ‘La Grassa,’ meaning ‘the Fat One.’ It is the food capital of Italy,” Hayes said. “I’m excited to eat my way through Italy.”

Sophomore Margeaux Prinster will spend the spring 2013 semester in Rome. As an anthropology major with a peace studies minor, Prinster said she is fascinated by the archeological value of Rome.

“I’m really interested in archeology, and Rome is an awesome place to be for that because you’re basically living in ancient Rome with a modern twist,” she said.

Prinster added she also wants to travel beyond Rome.

“I’m most excited about travelling and seeing everything,” Prinster said. “I really, really want to go skiing in the Alps.”