Spring abroad numbers rise

More students will travel abroad this spring than last, the director of the Office of Study Abroad said.

A total of 453 students will go abroad during the spring term, which is a “slight increase” from the number of students who studied abroad for one semester last spring, Robert Hallworth, director of Study Abroad. said.

Hallworth said the increase in students traveling abroad this year may be due to the low number of students going abroad last year because of the election and inauguration.

Europe is the most popular spring 2010 destination, Hallworth said. As of Nov. 20, 284 students had committed to study in Europe, 42 in the Middle East, 41 in Latin America, 34 in Asia, and 29 in Australia and the Pacific Islands. Twenty-three students will study abroad in Africa, and Hallworth said he estimates an additional 40 students will enroll in study abroad programs by the end of the semester.

Hallworth said 46 percent of undergraduates study abroad. Only 17 U.S. schools send more students abroad, according to a report released this year by the Institute for International Education.

The proportion of GW students studying in each region of the world is roughly similar to the national numbers in the report, though slightly more GW students (62 percent) study abroad in Europe than the nationwide level of 56 percent.

Elliott School junior Julie Tiedrich said her decision to study abroad in China was influenced by the opportunity to acclimate herself to the culture.

“My parents have always taught my siblings and I that one of the most important things to do in life is experience other cultures and traditions,” Tiedrich said.

According to the IIE report, more students than ever are traveling to places like China. But Hallworth said he also saw a jump in another foreign country – the number of applicants to study in Denmark more than tripled from the five to seven who typically study there during the spring semester.

“I’m not sure what to attribute this to, but it was the one number that jumped out at me when I reviewed projections for the spring,” Hallworth said.

Hallworth also said he expects the numbers of students going abroad to increase modestly as more short-term programs are added and noted that students’ interest in the Middle East and Latin America has grown this year.

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