This semester there are over 150 students studying off campus in over 35 different countries, ranging from Argentina to South Korea.
Currently, 14 percent of students off campus are doing field-based work, while 46 percent are directly enrolled in universities abroad, taking a specific group of classes based on their majors at Bowdoin.
Forty percent of that 46 percent are at universities where they are taking classes in another language. Approximately 235 students study abroad every year.
Data provided by the Off-Campus Study Office (OCS) indicated that students studying or researching away from campus last spring had overwhelmingly positive experiences.
At the close of each term, students are asked to complete a survey for the OCS describing their experience away from the College.
Many students who took the survey while studying abroad last semester gave highly positive reviews of their respective programs.
When asked whether they were glad they studied off campus, 54 of the 55 who answered the survey answered “yes.” One senior who studied at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland last semester said studying off campus gave him the kind of experience at a large university that he had always wanted. Another senior who studied in Denmark was very impressed with his professors.
Director of Off-Campus Study Christine Wintersteen explained that students study abroad for a variety of reasons and go through many different programs.
Many times when students are studying abroad they are continuing a language study or are beginning a new one.
The survey did indicate that not everyone had solely positive experiences abroad.
A senior who studied at the London School of Economics and Political Science his entire junior year commented that the lecture sizes were huge and that at times it was hard to learn in such a big group.
Others commented that the programs they took were not as academically rigorous as those at Bowdoin.
The one senior who was not glad he studied off campus felt the classes were engaging and fun, but that it felt as though students were simply being asked to memorize entire chapters and that the professors went much too fast.
Wintersteen commented that everyone’s experiences are different and varied depending on what type of person they are and what program they decide to enroll in.