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Study Abroad Office Will Open Late Sept. New Assistant Dean to Be Selected by Nov.

By Daniela Cako

A search is ongoing for a new assistant dean to head the Study Abroad Office, which is slated to open at the end of September. The new assistant dean is expected to take office by November.

The office, to be managed by the Office of Special Projects, was created to draw special attention to foreign study and encourage a more well-rounded education, said Peggy S. Enders, associate dean for undergraduate education. Enders will be selecting the new assistant dean.

Total participation abroad is low

Traditionally, students in science and engineering have been underrepresented in study abroad, making up just three percent of all U.S. students learning in foreign countries. Science and engineering students comprise a significantly higher portion of the students studying in the U.S.

Last year, 60 MIT students studied abroad, 38 of whom were juniors involved in the Cambridge-MIT Exchange program. The CME was first offered four years ago.

Enders said she believes only 22 people studied abroad in programs other than CME because earning engineering credits abroad for MIT degrees has generally been difficult. The Careers Office, which currently manages study abroad, does not allot enough attention to study abroad, necessitating the new office, Enders said.

Study abroad office opening soon

The new office will open on the first floor of Building 26 by end of September. Enders said it is intended to serve as a visible space where students can visit and receive advice about study abroad opportunities, fellowships, and scholarships.

Enders said she is seeking an assistant dean who will blend both the international and the MIT experience. The new dean will work with students in detail, helping them with each step to make their experience abroad as successful as possible.

The 52 students from MIT studying abroad this year are taking classes in France, Spain, Israel, Canada, England, Turkey, South Africa, and even on a boat in the Pacific Ocean, she said. Thirty-five of them are participating in the CME.