Study Abroad Program Earns National Recognition

study abroad

By Mike McKissack

The COD Study Abroad program has the second largest number of participants among all community colleges in the nation according to a recent report issued by the Institute of International Education (IIE).

During the 2011-2012 academic year, College of DuPage enrolled 179 students in international programs. Miami-Dade College in Florida was listed first with 190 students.

For a complete list of colleges and more information about the Open Doors 2013 report, please click here.

According to College of DuPage Study Abroad Program Specialist Susan Kerby, the recognition by the IIE demonstrates the commitment of the College toward international learning.

"We are very pleased with this recognition," Kerby said. "College of DuPage has a long history of supporting field and experiential learning. In fact, we were one of the first community colleges in the nation to offer study abroad programs. Being acknowledged by the IIE affirms our ongoing commitment to the importance of global experiences for our students."

Maren McKellin, Manager of Field and Experiential Learning and Study Abroad at College of DuPage, said that the success of the program is due to a variety of factors.

"We provide students with a variety of affordable opportunities across multiple disciplines," McKellin said. "These include short-term classes, five-week language immersion programs and more traditional semester-long experiences. We offer flexible programs that fit the needs of the traditional-age students and community members alike."

Kerby added that in light of globalization that has emerged over the last few decades, the international study programs offered by the College are increasingly important for prospective professionals and offer particular advantages for those at a community college.

"In the past, community college students have tended to be under-represented in terms of international experiences, and considering the tremendous emergence of globalization over the last few decades, it is more important than ever for students entering the workforce to be culturally well-rounded and globally competent," Kerby said.

Founded in 1919, the IIE is a private nonprofit organization that creates programs of study and training for students, educators and professionals that include the prestigious Fullbright Program and Gilman Scholarships administered for the U.S. Department of State.

The Field and Experiential Learning, Study Abroad and Global Education department offers a variety of classes that use the world as its classroom, including a large Outdoor Adventure program and domestic and international classes in a variety of subjects. The College has offered many successful international trips since 1970 and has taken students to more than 80 countries throughout all seven continents.

For more information about Field and Experiential and Study Abroad programs at College of DuPage, call (630) 942-2356 or email fieldstudiesaide@cod.edu.