College to focus on wider range of study abroad opportunities
9/15/2005 11:54:53 AM
LYNCHBURG — The Randolph-Macon Woman's College Board of Trustees announced Friday, Sept. 9 its decision to close the College's study abroad program at the University of Reading effective July 2006.
The decision was made after a year-long study of the program. The Reading Program, which began in 1968, has been challenged during the past decade by a number of national trends in study abroad, including students’ preferences for semester-long or shorter study abroad programs and a widening of students’ interests in sites in addition to England. It has been increasingly difficult to recruit the requisite number of students to fill the Reading program, despite the creative efforts of Campus Coordinator Paul Irwin and other College staff. Changes at the University of Reading have also had financial implications for the program.
The College stands firmly behind its commitment to globalization. Our students want and need to acquire first-hand knowledge and understanding of different cultures and countries. Their experiences and growth during these study abroad opportunities follow them throughout life.
Nearly 45% of R-MWC students participate in a study-abroad program– either a two- or three-week summer seminar, a semester program, or a full-year study-abroad option. In addition to the Reading Program, our students have opted for programs throughout Europe, Mexico, and Japan among other places. Our students can also enroll in a foreign university or study abroad in an approved program coordinated by another U.S. institution.
The College shares the disappointment of our students, alumnae and staff over the need to close the Reading Program; however, we remain committed to ensuring our students have access to strong study abroad programs throughout the world.
CONTACT: Brenda Edson, Director of Communications