Celebrating Study Abroad at Elon

Katie Nash
Jan. 20, 2010

Brochure, Winter 1970. Photo courtesy of Belk Library Archives.

Forty-one years ago, professors Jim Elder and Gerard Priestley led a group of Elon students to London, England on the school’s first study abroad trip.  At the time, no one envisioned the study abroad program flourishing and holding the number one spot in the nation among master’s-level colleges and universities for the number of students who study abroad (according to the Institute of International Education’s 2008 Open Doors report).  Today, 71% of Elon undergraduate students study abroad at least once. Moreover, in 1995 there were 295 students who studied abroad, compared to the 1184 students in 2008.  This Winter Term, more than 600 students are studying abroad and 50 faculty and staff are accompanying them.

The Isabella Cannon Centre for International Studies and the Elon Experiences program foster and encourage all students to study abroad.  They provide the necessary support and guidance to students so they can participate in studying abroad and deepen their level and commitment to service, research, and lifelong learning.  Additionally, the endowment and scholarships provided for  study abroad experiences are well established.  During Winter Term 1970, the total cost for a student to study abroad in London was $590.  This year, the total cost to London is $3800.

Over the year’s students, faculty, and staff have traveled to places such as India, France, Spain, Costa Rica, China, Russia, Ireland, England, Poland, South Africa, and Germany to participate in intensive research, service, and language immersion.  There are three new study abroad courses this year which include: Chile, Thriving but still recovering; London, Human Services practicum; Japan, Media and Culture.

Students and faculty are documenting their experiences this year through the Study Abroad Blog.  For additional information about the study abroad program at Elon University, please visit this website.

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