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Notre Dame International adds new summer programs

| Thursday, August 25, 2016

More than 500 students students studied abroad through Notre Dame International (NDI) programs across the world this summer — including seven new locations — according to Rosemary Max, director of international programs at the University.

New locations for summer 2016 included Brazil, Berlin, Rome, Japan and Russia.

“Some of the new locations are chosen because we … have a faculty member who is very interested in a location and wants to start a program there,” Max said. “Our China Summer Language Program is a perfect example of that. Others are because we see a need that isn’t being filled. For example, we didn’t have a lot of options in Africa, and we believe that South Africa was such a good destination, so we worked with faculty to develop a program there.”

Max said new summer programs were added to give Notre Dame students the same opportunities that students at peer institutions were receiving.

“Many schools around the US … offer both semester traditional programs for students and offer summer short term programs,” she said.“A few years ago, we realized that our summer offerings were few, so we’ve been expanding those.”

In addition to the new programs, Max said NDI continued to run popular programs, such as London and Dublin.

“Some longstanding summer programs that we’ve had, like the London Program, are a mainstay for us, and it remains a very popular program for us,” Max said. “This summer we had over 80 students go to London, and so we are going to continue to run the program. We always tweak and update due to student feedback though. We send out surveys and make changes accordingly.”

According to Max, the summer programs can last three, five or six weeks.

“The feedback that we get from students is that the three-week intensive period is very formative for them,”  she said.“There is a lot that they get out from being together, and being with a faculty member, for a three-week period. The overwhelming positive feedback on that timeframe was a surprise. I do think that having a very close relationship with a faculty member over that time is very positive for students.”

Max said she believes the three-week programs, particularly those that run at the end of May into the first week of June are most convenient for students.

“It is a great time for students to go abroad … whether they go abroad in addition to a semester abroad or in addition to another summer abroad program,” she said. “That is a really nice time slot before they might begin an internship or begin anything else they are doing for the summer.”

In addition to the summer programs that NDI ran for upperclassmen, they also ran programs for incoming first-year students who matriculated to Notre Dame the fall after they completed the program.

“They start out with a three-week intensive program before they even get to Notre Dame,” she said. “One model, they do a seminar for the rest of the term here and in another model, the course concludes once they arrive on campus.”

Max said overall more students study abroad during the entire academic year than during the summer. However, Notre Dame sent more students overseas during the summer than they did during either the fall or spring semester.

“Summer is now the biggest term for us,” she said. “If you count the fall [semester] as one term, the spring [semester] as one term, and the summer [semester] as one term, summer is the biggest term. The next year or two will be a really test for us to see how large our summer programs grow.”

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