According to the Institute of International Education, Dartmouth is the #1 Ivy for study abroad: 59 percent of Dartmouth undergraduates studied abroad in 2008-2009 (see this article from Dartmouth Now, an alumni publication). Dartmouth also ranks #6 among all doctoral granting institutions in the country.
Percentages are one thing. But what I think really makes Dartmouth’s study abroad programs stand out is that they are created and led by Dartmouth faculty. At most colleges and universities these days, study abroad is farmed out to other universities who spin study abroad programs to make extra money, or to third-party contractors who create these programs and make a profit on the margin between what they cost and what colleges charge for tuition.
Dartmouth–and a handful of other colleges and universities–set themselves apart in that their faculty are intimately involved in creating the academic component of the program. The faculty are responsible for the rigor of the courses offered. At most other places, the faculty are not expected to care about, much less oversee, the quality of the programs offered. As a result, there are many study abroad programs that have little substance–but a high profit margin.
So if you are interested in study abroad, it’s worth having a look at how involved the faculty is in monitoring the academic component of the program.
Oh, that, and the numbers of kids going abroad.
Educational Consultant and Study Abroad Advocate