With the end of first semester four weeks away, members of the junior class are preparing to venture away from Brunswick and begin their study-abroad experiences. This year has shown a marked increase in Bowdoin students studying off-campus, with 237 total participants, up from 208 last year and 217 in the 2010-11 academic year.
Although this increase can be partially attributed to the larger size of the junior class, the percentage of students choosing to study abroad has also increased. A projected 47.8 percent of the junior class plans to study off campus this year, compared with 45.6 percent in 2011-12 and 46.8 percent in 2010-11.
For the first time in recent years, more students are choosing to study abroad in the spring than in the fall. This year, 131 students will be studying off-campus for the spring semester, while 95 are off-campus for the fall semester and 11 for the entire year. In contrast, in 2011-12 there were 110 students off-campus for the fall and 80 for the spring, with 18 studying abroad for the year.
The disparity between spring and fall off-campus study means that more housing for juniors will open up in the spring.
“Right now housing is very tight, and we’ll have more wiggle room next semester,” said Director of Residential Life Lisa Rendall.
However, she also warned that students in Brunswick Apartments should not assume that they will not have a new roommate next semester.
The most popular off-campus study locations were Italy and Denmark, with 25 students studying in each country. Europe is by far the most popular study abroad location, with 133 students studying or planning to study there.
Director of Off Campus Study Christine Wintersteenexplained Europe’s popularity.
“First, there’s a broader course selection there, especially in English. Second, there are many places in Europe where students are studying languages,” she said.
There are also 19 students studying abroad in Africa, 23 in the Americas, 21 in Asia, two in the Middle East, 24 in Oceania, and four in the United States.
Meanwhile, current sophomores have begun preparations for study abroad. Wintersteen reports that the Off-Campus Study Office received approximately 340 preliminary applications, almost 70 percent of the sophomore class.