Study abroad fair presents programs in over 60 countries

Study abroad opportunities for W&L students take them almost anywhere in the world


Ellen Kanziger '18

Flags outside of Leyburn for the Study Abroad Fair.

Abigail Summerville

With study abroad opportunities in six continents and over 60 different countries, Washington and Lee can send a student almost anywhere in the world.

Talking about her current experience studying abroad in Madrid, Lindsay DeMuth, ‘17, said, “I chose to study abroad so that I could immerse into a different culture and master another language. Madrid is awesome and completely different from Lexington so it has definitely broadened my horizons.”

At an info session about studying abroad on Sept. 20 led by Assistant Director of International Education and Study Abroad Advisor Kip Brooks, Brooks urged students to study abroad and listed the benefits as gaining independence, impressing future employers, and learning about a different place and its culture. DeMuth seems to have gained these benefits from her trip.

Brooks also warned that “the number one reason students do not study abroad [during their four years at W&L] is because they don’t want to miss out on anything at W&L when they’re gone.” However, when asked what their number one regret is after graduation, an overwhelming number of students say “not studying abroad.”

There are two ways to study abroad at W&L: direct enrollment or through a field school. Direct enrollment allows students to attend a university abroad for either a semester or a full year and earn credits while a field school is theme-based and usually occurs in less traditional places.

Students also have the option of pitching their own ideas to the international studies committee. However, these situations are rare because W&L already has connections in most countries around the world.

“As a first year student excited to explore W&L, studying abroad presents a unique opportunity to both experience the school’s amazing academics beyond the classroom and create unforgettable memories with my peers and friends,” said Ryder Babik, ‘19, about the spring term abroad opportunities.

The study abroad fair this past Tuesday in Leyburn library featured spring term abroad courses and also study abroad programs unaffiliated with the university.

The different spring term options are studying in France, Italy, Argentina, Japan, South Africa, Denmark, Spain, England, Sweden, Switzerland, the Netherlands and Austria. Of those twelve courses, six of them are brand new: England, South Africa, France, Austria, Argentina and Switzerland.

Matt Carl '17 talks with a group of first-years about a program in Germany at the Study Abroad Fair in Leyburn.
Matt Carl ’17 talks with a group of first-years about a program in Germany at the Study Abroad Fair in Leyburn.

Each course also focuses in depth on a certain subject. For example, the Denmark trip, one of two trips only available to first year students,  will study International Corporate Social Responsibility and Sustainability.

An information meeting for students interested in Spring term abroad will be held on Oct. 13 at 7 p.m. in the Stackhouse Theater.

Representatives from study abroad programs were also at the fair advertising their programs to passing students. There were a variety of different programs including the Institute for the International Education of Students, the Institute for Study Abroad, the School for International Training and programs at Oxford and the London School of Economics to name a few.

Most programs had options for direct enrollment for a semester or a year, where students would live in university housing, and language immersion programs where students would live with a host family. Many programs also had summer study abroad opportunities where students could either take courses at a university or intern.

With such a large range of study abroad options, a representative from IES advised students that “It’s better to start thinking about study abroad options sooner rather than later.” So even if you are a student who doesn’t plan on studying abroad until next year or the year after, it’s never too early to start exploring your study abroad options.