Stephanie Espitia ’16 used her scholarship to participate in St. Olaf’s Global Semester, a faculty-led five-course semester experience taught in multiple venues throughout the world, including China:
“Since I was six years old, I had always dreamed of visiting and walking on the Great Wall of China. So on the day that my study abroad group visited the Great Wall, I was jumping with excitement and overjoyed about being able to see and touch the Great Wall. This experience will forever remain ingrained in me and my five senses. Thank you for making this dream possible!”
St. Olaf College: Increasing Access To International Study
International study is a high-impact learning opportunity¹ which is fast becoming an essential component of a 21st century education. Studying abroad supports students’ academic commitment, personal growth, intercultural development, and career attainment. These benefits increase the longer students study off-campus².
International study is also a hallmark of learning at St. Olaf College. Approximately 76 percent of St. Olaf students study abroad prior to graduation, ranking the college first by total participation among all baccalaureate institutions.
While participation and impact are high, the cost for international study remains a significant barrier for low- and middle-income students. To increase access, the Olseth Family Foundation established the Olseth International and Off-Campus Studies Opportunity Fund to provide scholarships for students who study a semester overseas. In its first year, the fund enabled nine St. Olaf students to study in Austria, Costa Rica, Denmark, France, Northern Ireland, and Turkey.
Now in its second year, the fund will provide scholarships for 16 students to study abroad during their 2016-2017 academic year. St. Olaf would like to thank the Olseth Family Foundation for making this essential component of an undergraduate education accessible for students like Stephanie.
To learn more about International and Off Campus Studies at St. Olaf College, please visit: www.stolaf.edu/international.
¹Kuh, George. “High-Impact Educational Practices: What They Are, Who Has Access to Them, and Why They Matter.” American Association of Colleges and Universities, 2008.
²Preston, Kendra. “2012 IES Abroad Recent Graduates Survey.” Institute for the International Education of Students, 2012.