Exploring Beyond the Red Doors

By Elizabeth Einhorn ’05

With 45 affiliate programs in 25 countries to choose from, along with over 60 field study and research programs in association with the School of International Study, many Muhlenberg students take advantage of the college’s education abroad programs and initiatives.

Muhlenberg offers an extensive program to its students, which is not limited by major or minor and, in fact, truly presents all students from all backgrounds with fitting programs. The affiliated institutions with which Muhlenberg maintains an educational relationship meet set criteria determined by Associate Professor of Economics Dr. Donna Kish-Goodling, the academic director of international programs, and Susan B. Norling, the international programs coordinator. Quality of the institution, as measured by accrediting bodies with consideration of the geographical, regional and cultural diversity, is taken into account. Also, the diversity of majors along with program specialization to match specific Muhlenberg College programs is a factor in building educational relationships. Norling adds that student input and feedback plays a large role in establishing the locations of the affiliated institutions. “The locations are essentially contingent on student interest. We want to provide students with the opportunities they are seeking,” she said.

And the programs do just that. Whereas in the past students were limited based on their language, major or ability to speak fluently, now students who have a vested interest in a particular country, but do not have a strong grasp of the language, still can receive the opportunity for study and travel in that country. Also, more specified “field study” programs have been included in the sector of international options to provide students with the chance to compile and execute research.

Although most study abroad opportunities are not contingent on specific coursework, Muhlenberg offers two abroad programs that are geared towards certain majors. There is a program at the University of Maastricht in the Netherlands, exclusively for accounting, business or economics majors, where students can fulfill a concentration in global trade and international business. Students live and take four courses together and are joined by a professor in their major. The other specialized major program that is popular amongst students is at Goldsmith’s College through the University of London. This program is geared to theatre majors but students enrolled in other major fields of study can also participate.

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Johanna Nelson '05 & Valerie Lykes '05 sit on a stone overlooking the river Tweed in Peebles, Scotland, a Royal Burgh since the reign of King David (1124-1153).

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