CAROLYN STRANSKY, Staff Writer
Executives and representatives alike gathered at Beloit Student Congress last Monday, March 19. The meeting began with a student forum on the declining rates of study abroad at Beloit.
Teresa Wood’12 and Alen Keric’14, sent by the Office of International Education (OIE), lead the discussion. They opened the results from a recent survey that was conducted by all sophomores who didn’t apply for off-campus study and their faculty advisors.
For the 2012-2013 school year, there was an approximate 30 percent decrease in students applying for study abroad opportunities, as well as an 80-90 percent decrease for domestic off-campus study applications. Within the survey, the OIE found many discrepancies between the faculty and student reasons for this decrease. This included finances, where 80 percent of faculty marked this as the perceived reasons where only 30 percent of students did, and involvement in on-campus activities, with a 70 percent faculty marking and only 15 percent student.
The discussion was then opened up to the floor, asking BSC for their opinions on the drop. Some of the reasons discussed were lack of information and resources—including poorly timed information sessions and the void of student evaluations for domestic programs, students struggling to finish their majors in time—with a special emphasis on credit transferring and changing curriculum, and ways to improve promotion of individual programs.
The decline that happened this year is considered a “novelty” to the OIE, with past years only fluctuating about five percent either way. Wood and Keric stressed that the OIE wants to reach out to those students who either didn’t apply, never studied abroad or aren’t interested to find ways to further improve the strength of their office.
The meeting closed with a brief business section that included the approval of two computers and cases being purchased for BSC from the Emergency Fund and the voting in of a new member of Election Committee.
The next meeting will take place tonight (Monday, March 26) in Mathers A/B. There will be an alumni lead talk about tuition and there is no scheduled business.