On his first day as interim chancellor, Brady Deaton said MU’s Study Abroad Program is growing.
“Students are going to be very well served,” Deaton predicted in announcing that Handy Williamson would remain in charge of MU’s International Center, which oversees the Study Abroad Program.
The program’s director, Barbara Lindeman, said the percentage of MU students studying abroad has increased by 47 percent in the past five years, from 482 students in the 1999-2000 academic year to 706 in 2003-04.
“Increasing study abroad participation at MU has been an institutional goal for the past decade,” Lindeman said. “Dr. Williamson has always been very supportive of this goal and of the MU International Center as a whole. We expect this high level of support to continue without interruption, and it has.”
Lindeman said that during the past two years, MU Study Abroad has seen a significant increase in participation in summer and interim study abroad programs, as opposed to the traditional semester and year abroad programs. Michael Kamerman, a senior at MU, has studied in both summer and semester programs.
“You don’t just study abroad to learn a language,” Kamerman said. “You learn a lot about yourself.”
After summer study in Mexico and a semester in Spain, Kamerman has memories as important to him as anything he has learned in a classroom, he said.
“My bedroom had bay doors. I opened them, and there was the ocean,” Kamerman said as he recalled his time in Spain.
Kamerman and other students are now using the skills they gained abroad right here in Columbia. At Centro Latino, many students who have studied in Spanish-speaking countries now mentor children from Columbia’s Hispanic community, he said.