While the closing of the Colby-Bates-Bowdoin Off-Campus Study Program in London, Cape Town, and Quito is unfortunate, it is understandable in light of the financial and administrative problems noted by President Mills and the other college presidents in their statement. However, it calls attention to the fact that after Spring 2005, Bowdoin will not be operating any study abroad programs at all.
Bowdoin students will be able to study abroad with all the program options that they had before (minus three). Strong study abroad programs provide an excellent avenue for the enhancement of Bowdoin's reputation, especially among international students and domestic students from other colleges in the U.S. The lack of Bowdoin-run programs conflicts with the administration's stated committment to raising the College's profile and supporting study abroad options for students.
The administrative agenda should include the creation of centers abroad for the use of Bowdoin students and our colleagues at similar institutions-including, but not limited to, Bates and Colby. Colby, for instance, maintains several programs, and CBB London was in fact built on a previously existing Colby program. Why hasn't Bowdoin created similar programs? It seems we have fallen behind our peers in something that might be more important than food or football.
This is about more than intercollegiate rivalry, though. CBB offered an important option for many students looking to have a challenging academic experience in a foreign country without completely severing their ties to Bowdoin. With its familar course structure and professors from the three colleges, it was a desirable choice for students slightly wary of plunging headfirst into another culture. And while CBB's demise is regrettable, what is more unfortunate is the decreased amount of choices for students looking to go abroad and Bowdoin's diminished international presence.
For information on sending a letter to the editor, please click here.
Features Opinion A&E Sports