Study abroad programs receive record number of applicants
Senior Sydnee Levett had a solid foundation in Spanish, but she also knew she would never master the language unless she had to speak it constantly. This led Levett — a double major in biology and Spanish — to spend the fall in Buenos Aires, Argentina, as part of the University of Miami’s study abroad program, ULatin America.
“Having in-person conversations and hearing how people converse with you in everyday interactions is what I was really looking for,” said Levett, a Singer Fellow and Foote Fellow currently living with an Argentinian host family. “I had never been to South America before.”
Levett is one of many University of Miami students eager to learn outside the United States this year and experience new cultures, study at historic libraries, and visit world-famous landmarks.
“The idea of traveling, or even just leaving your home, was unimaginable during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, so I think more people are realizing how special an experience like this can be,” said Aleksandra Peeva, a young health student. management and politics, and global affairs in Edinburgh, Scotland this year.
More than 400 students have applied to study abroad programs for the upcoming spring semester, which typically has around 300, according to Devika Milner, assistant dean and director of Study Abroad.
“I am delighted for several reasons. Firstly, because we understand how disappointing the COVID-19 period has been when students have not had the opportunity to study abroad, and also because we are seeing renewed interest in programs of experiential learning,” Milner said.
Although the deadlines for spring semester study abroad programs have passed, Milner and his staff hope the surge in student interest in their programs will continue well into the summer. Several new faculty-led summer programs have recently been added to the roster for 2023, including one in Florence, Italy for biomedical engineering students; a Jewish studies program in Spain; and an entrepreneurship program in Israel. Summer programs have application deadlines of February 1, 2023.
“Data shows that students who study abroad will stand out when applying for graduate school or jobs,” Milner said. “These experiences will not only help them become more proficient in the marketplace, but also students going abroad become more cross-culturally fluid, which is something American students should always strive for.”
UBarcelona and URome are the two programs that currently have the highest number of participants for the spring. With more than 100 applicants, Barcelona garnered the highest number of enrollments in the history of the university’s study abroad program, just one year after its launch.
“Many University of Miami students recognize the value of stepping out of their own comfort zone, living somewhere completely new, and maybe learning a new language,” Milner said.
Peeva wanted a challenge like this when she decided to spend the whole academic year in Edinburgh. The Jupiter, Florida native always wanted to study abroad in college — it even inspired her to major in global business. Although she had a few bumps, found an apartment and figured out the student visa process, Peeva said she felt supported by University staff and was happy with her decision.
“I came to Edinburgh in 2019 and loved the city, the old buildings and the feeling of being in a completely different world from Miami,” she said. “When I was thinking about where to go, the UK was at the top of my list and Edinburgh was my favorite place in the UK. It was probably the best decision I’ve ever made, at least recently. There are a lot to learn and experience while studying abroad, and I think that’s what makes it so unique.
Learn more about study abroad programs and their information sessions.