All-time high 373 students apply to study abroad

By Clark Jacobson

Three hundred seventy-three Macalester students applied for study abroad programs last Friday. Most of the applicants consisted of sophomores, though there were some freshmen and juniors in the mix. “That’s the highest number of study abroad applications in Macalester history,” said Study Abroad Coordinator Paul Nelson. “It’s because the sophomore class is the biggest in college history.”

With about 560 students in the Class of 2013 and the average rate of juniors studying abroad being 60 percent, there should be around 340 members of the Class of 2013 studying abroad next year.

Before this class of sophomores, “the most we’ve ever sent abroad in a single year is.277,” Nelson said.

Each year, the administration has a range for the anticipated cost of study abroad.

“It’s difficult to be precise,” said Nelson, because it depends on many uncontrollable variables, such as number of students interested and total cost of programs, which range vastly.

“We are still in the process of building the budget for 2011-12,” said Provost Kathleen Murray.

The budget dictates how many students can go abroad every year. Usually, there are few rejections.

“Students with weak applications may be denied, as always,” said Murray. Neither Nelson nor Murray knows how many, if any, students will be turned away from study abroad.

The Study Abroad Office aims to notify applicants during the first week of April, via SPO, whether their proposals are accepted or denied.