ND ranks fifth in study abroad participation

first_imgThe opportunity to spend a semester of college taking classes in a foreign country, visiting new places and forming strong relationships with other students to many seems too good to pass up, and Notre Dame students are taking advantage of study abroad opportunities at higher rates than ever before. According to the Open Doors report released by the Institute of International Education (IIE), Notre Dame ranks fifth nationwide in percentage of undergraduate students participating in study abroad programs among U.S. doctoral and research institutions. The story focused on the 2011 to 2012 academic year. The United Kingdom, Italy, Spain, France and China ranked as the top five destinations for American students, and the IIE reported a steady increase in students pursuing academic semesters in foreign countries over the past decade. According to the report, 65.9 percent of Notre Dame students participate in study abroad, a 6.2 percent increase from 2012. Last year, the University ranked ninth in the survey. The Notre Dame International website states that the mission of International Studies is “to enable international learning and research experiences that enhance the academic, intercultural and spiritual formation of our students; enrich their global and cultural awareness and help to develop engaged citizens in our increasingly interconnected and interdependent world.” Junior Kate Friedli said she chose to study abroad in the United Kingdom during the past summer for a variety of reasons. “I think more and more people are going abroad for two reasons,” she said. “First, it’s incredibly fun. Second, you have the opportunity to learn things you wouldn’t in a normal, domestic class.” Friedli said her favorite part of the experience was forming friendships with the other Notre Dame students in her program. “What I found most rewarding about studying abroad was the people,” Friedli said. “The people from Notre Dame who I went abroad to London with will be my lifelong friends, and my interactions with true Londoners were very rewarding and fun.” Junior Sara Reyes also said studying abroad offered an opportunity to branch out and meet Notre Dame students she has yet to interact with on campus. “Studying abroad is the perfect medium to get out of your comfort zone,” Reyes said. “It was a great experience for me because I met a lot of Notre Dame students that I may never have had the pleasure of being friends with had I not met them during my time abroad.” Junior Katharine Maheras said she valued the opportunity to experience new cultures with other Notre Dame students who share a similar background to hers. “I not only got to have a new cultural experience but also was able to strengthen friendships with Notre Dame students through doing so,” Maheras said. Junior Kevin McMannis said by offering study abroad programs over the summer, Notre Dame International allows even more students to take advantage of the opportunity to study in a foreign country. “The summer abroad let me experience new and different parts of my Notre Dame and college career without missing a semester on this amazing campus,” he said. “I got to branch out of my dorm, live with six guys I didn’t know before and meet other amazing people.” Living in a metropolitan city and absorbing the culture were highlights of the summer program, McMannis said. “London’s city life and culture was one of the most amazing experiences I’ve had so far, and I am super blessed to have been able to spend it with my college friends, new and old,” he said.  Notre Dame boasts more than 40 international study programs in more than 20 nations, including Australia, Brazil, Chile, China, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Jordan, Mexico, Russia, Senegal, South Korea, Singapore, Switzerland, Uganda and the U.K., along with a domestic program in Washington, D.C. Contact Meg Handelman at [email protected]last_img read more

Vermont ranked 2nd in nation in impact of poverty relief program 3SquaresVT

first_imgPoverty increased in Vermont and across the nation in 2010: according to the US Census Bureau, over 76,000 Vermonters (including 1 in 6 children) are living below the poverty level ($22,314 for a family of four), with nearly 165,000 Vermonters (1 in 3 children) considered low-income (below 185% of poverty).  Almost 93,000 Vermonters currently receive 3SquaresVT benefits (known nationally as SNAP), which, when added to income, lifted 26% of 3SquaresVT households out of poverty, ranking Vermont second in the nation for its program impact. 3SquaresVT continues to see rising participation as well as all-time high benefits, bringing over $11 million into the Vermont economy each month. ‘Whether it is the Great Recession or Tropical Storm Irene, 3SquaresVT is the most responsive safety net program in tough times,’ says Angela Smith-Dieng, 3SquaresVT Advocacy Manager at Hunger Free Vermont. ‘The extra money for food makes a critical difference for families ‘ it means more fruits and vegetables, lean meats and dairy on Vermonters’ tables, helping them stay healthy and better able to work and learn.’The Vermont Department for Children and Families (DCF) and the anti-hunger community have worked hard in recent years to ensure that more Vermonters needing access to healthy food are able to receive 3SquaresVT and that benefits are an adequate supplement for families on a tight budget.  The USDA has consistently recognized Vermont for its hard work by awarding the State with performance bonuses for its success in reaching many of those eligible for benefits.  ‘Since I started with the program in 2001 we have worked diligently to partner with anti-hunger organizations to do outreach on this program to remove participation barriers and stigma,’ says Reneé Richardson, Director of Food and Nutrition Programs at DCF. ‘Thanks to this collaboration we have almost tripled our enrollment in the last ten years.’With so many Vermonters relying on 3SquaresVT and many more newly eligible, Congress must work to protect this critical nutrition program that combats hunger and poverty so well.  As the Select Committee on Deficit Reduction meets this fall to consider ways to reduce spending, cuts to 3SquaresVT and other anti-hunger programs should not be part of the deal. About Hunger Free Vermont: Hunger Free Vermont (formerly the Vermont Campaign to End Childhood Hunger) is a statewide nonprofit organization that works with state agencies and community groups to end the injustice of hunger and malnutrition for all Vermonters. Since 1993 Hunger Free Vermont’s outreach programs have substantially enhanced Vermont’s nutrition safety net and increased access to nutritious foods. www.hungerfreevt.org(link is external)September 28, 2011 (Vermont) ‘last_img read more