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Contact: Lynn Stewart, Centenary News Service, 318-869-5120

Report Lists Centenary College No. 3 Among Nation's Master's Institutions with Highest Percent of Undergraduates Studying Abroad

SHREVEPORT, LA— With 57 percent of its undergraduate student body studying abroad, Centenary College has been ranked third highest among the Top 10 U.S. master's institutions cited for exemplary participation, according to the Chronicle of Higher Education.

From a report stating that study abroad should be "an integral part of education for all students," the Chronicle cites findings of the Institute of International Education that show the U.S. colleges with the highest proportion of students who do study abroad during their undergraduate career.

In the master's institutions listing, Centenary followed Linfield College, where 87.1 percent of students study abroad, and Elon University, with 83.8 percent. Centenary, at third, was followed by the University of Saint Thomas (52%), Calvin College (50.9%), the University of Richmond (48.3%), Pacific Luthern University (47.6%), Gonzaga University (42.1%), Loyola College in Maryland (42.1%) and Rollins College (40.4%).

"An intercultural experience is very much a part of the Centenary experience," said Dr. Grace Bareikis, director of intercultural affairs. "The Centenary faculty has recognized this need and has made it a requirement for graduation that every student must complete an intercultural experience before graduating." While not all students study abroad, she said, many do choose that option. "We are one of a handful of schools that require an intercultural experience before graduation."

Centenary offers a variety of study abroad options, ranging from a full academic year to short-term summer study. "Students are extraordinarily positive about their studies overseas," said Dr. Bareikis, who reads all students' evaluations at the completion of their studies. "It is not uncommon for students to say that this was the most significant experience of their academic career."

The Chronicle's chart listing colleges with the highest proportions studying abroad accompanied the article "Report Urges Federal Effort to Triple Number of Students Studying Abroad: Educator's panel says American's ignorance of the outside world is a 'national liability.' " Writer Burton Bollage cites recommendations from the Association of International Educators, who argue that action is urgently needed to overcome Americans' "continuing insularity."

"We are unnecessarily putting ourselves at risk because of our stubborn monolingualism and ignorance of the world," the report said.

In addition to master's institutions, the Chronicle listed the top 10 performers in three other categories: research, doctoral and baccalaureate institutions. Topping those lists were Yeshiva University and Georgetown University among research institutions, Dartmouth College and Wake Forest University among the doctoral institutions, and Eckerd College and Berea College among baccalaureate schools.


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