Between September and May of this academic year, a projected total of 215 students will study abroad in 46 different countries. Eighteen juniors will remain abroad for the entire year.According to Director of Off-Campus Study Christine Wintersteen, these numbers are consistent with study abroad trends.These numbers were expected, she said.In recent years, the percentage of the junior class that applied to study abroad varied slightly, but these minor fluctuations haven't had major impacts.
The OCS has reported that this year an estimated 47.1 percent of the Class of 2013 will study abroad, a marginal increase from 46.8 percent of the Class of 2012.During the 2008-2009 academic year, a record-high number of 264 students studied abroad.The number has hovered around 50 percent for the last 10 years,said Wintersteen.In comparison to our peer institutions, we're right in the middle. No school sees numbers higher than around 60 percent of the junior class.While the figures for academic year study away programs have remained more or less constant, students are considering an increasing number of summer programs abroad. Dean of Admissions Scott Meiklejohn commented on this increase.We're seeing a trend of students pursuing shorter, more entrepreneurial-based study away experiences at different times of the year,said Meiklejohn.More students are applying to study away in the summer.
Thirty students studied abroad this past summer, a notable increase from the 22 students who were abroad during the summer of 2010.Some students are deterred from studying abroad during the summer due to the high cost and lower chance of earning course credits.Financial aid doesn't transfer to summer programs, but it does during the school year,said Wintersteen. "Also, students typically only earn about two credits abroad during the summer, as opposed to four in the fall or spring.
The ratio of male to female students who study abroad has remained relatively constant over the years. Across the nation, roughly 60 percent of college students who choose to study abroad are women.This figure is reflected at Bowdoin, where 61 percent of applicants to study abroad this year were female. Wintersteen explained that some believe this discrepancy is due to the tendency of men and women to pursue different areas of study.Historically, it's been thought that more women choose to study the social sciences while more men majored in the STEM science, technology, engineering, and mathematics fields,she said, implying that it is harder for STEM majors to get credits off-campus.Yet there is no data to back the gender discrepancies up,she added.However this was exactly the case for junior Drew Zembruski.I decided not to go abroad in order to fulfill major requirements for my major, mathematics. I had no explicit academic reason for going abroad, so I felt it made more sense for me to stay at Bowdoin," he said.
But Bowdoin professors are flexible when it comes to giving students credit for off-campus study, according to the OCS.Our faculty is very well-versed in the transfer of academic credit from time spent abroad,said Wintersteen.Ultimately, Zembruski said he feels as though he made the wrong decision.In hindsight I realize the flaw in my logic, he said. While I will be able to finish my major by the end of my junior year, I regret not going abroad."