Study abroad programs are expensive programs for colleges and universities. In Vermont, two small colleges reflect different approaches - one is struggling with costs, while another expands international studies.
At the beginning of the year St. Michael’s College in Burlington, Vermont notified its students that the school was changing the selection process for their study abroad program. Essentially a quota system is being implemented restricting the number of juniors and seniors able to study abroad.
Colleen O’Connell’s son enrolled in the college’s environmental studies and Spanish programs because of the opportunities for international studies. She believes the college is changing the rules mid-stream, to the disadvantage of her son’s education.
St. Michael’s College Vice President for Academic Affairs Karen Talentino says there has never been a stated quota in the past and she is doing all she can to assure that as many students that want to study abroad can. But budgetary constraints are forcing changes to their study abroad program.
International study programs at colleges and universities across the county have been scaled back due to budget constraints. But Burlington, Vermont’s Champlain College Associate Provost for International Education Jim Cross says the school is expanding its study abroad programs.
St. Michael’s College has created a faculty advisory group to undertake a comprehensive review of their international studies program.