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Thursday, April 18, 2024
The Observer

Study abroad releases decisions in largest applicant pool ever

Last Saturday was a highly anticipated day for many students hoping to study abroad during the 2022-2023 school year as study abroad decisions for semester programs were released.

This year, study abroadreceived the largest number of applicants ever, with over 1,200 students applying, according to senior director of global education Hong Zhu. 

The acceptance rate for semester programs this year stands at 85%, which is slightly lower than last year’s rate. The acceptance rate for summer programs is 86%. Overall, study abroad accepted more applicants in 2022 than 2021. 

Zhu said COVID-19 has not reduced student interest in studying abroad.

“The enthusiasm of studying abroad has not waned, it’s very high, and we’re very, very happy about that,” Zhu said. 

A couple of notable trends continued this year. The three most competitive programs continued to be London, Dublin and Rome, and many more students applied for the spring semester programs than the fall programs, Zhu said.

“Our fall to spring ratio is almost one to four,” said Zhu. “So you can imagine it’s just not possible for all the spring preferences to get in off the spring waitlist.”

Students have until Jan. 22 to officially commit to their respective summer or semester programs.

Study abroad often starts accepting students off program waitlists within the next two to three weeks, especially those on the waitlist for the fall semester, Zhu said. Students will continue to be accepted off the waitlists for the spring 2023 semester programs into the fall. 

There is still space available for eight select semester programs for 2022-2023 and eight summer 2022 programs. Applications are now open to these programs and are due Monday, January 31. 

Study abroad encourages students to be flexible in choosing which semester and program they decide to participate in. 

When evaluating applications, study abroad looks for students with specific academic goals that align with the opportunities offered by their desired program.  

This spring semester, a number of students withdrew from programs they had accepted spots in due to anxiety about COVID-19. While the pandemic caused some concern for some students who hoped to study abroad in the 2021-2022 school year, the increased number of applications for 2022-2023 does not reflect widespread concerns about the pandemic, Zhu said.

While most study abroad programs moved forward this semester, a few programs were canceled due to pandemic-related travel restrictions, such as those in Australia and China. 

Notre Dame International (NDI) continually evaluates COVID-19 concerns for each country and program, Zhu said. NDI monitors factors such as countries’ entry requirements and the classroom restrictions at particular institutions to decide whether or not to send students, she added.

All students are required to be fully vaccinated in order to study abroad. Students with vaccine exemptions are not allowed to participate in study abroad.

Zhu said study abroad is excited to work with students to ensure they have a positive and memorable experience abroad.

“I just think it is great that study abroad is still here and students are eager to go,” Zhu said.