TCU’s Center for International Studies: Study Abroad office is adding two new locations to the study abroad program.
In the spring of 2017, students will be able to study abroad for a full semester in Madrid, Spain, or Rome, Italy, making the total number of “TCU in” programs, six. The other four are in Florence, Italy; Seville, Spain; and two programs in London, England.
The study abroad office decided to roll out these new programs for a few reasons, one major reason being that study abroad numbers have increased drastically in the past few years.
“Three years ago we sent about 100 students on our spring programs. Two years ago we sent about 150 students on our spring programs and last year we sent 200 students abroad on spring programs,” said Study abroad Program Coordinator, Jesica Severson. “That’s 100 percent growth in two years, which is crazy.”
In past years, TCU has sent 20 to 30 students abroad in the spring. However this past year, TCU sent 82 students just to Florence.
Due to the increase in numbers, there will now be a selective admission process for students wanting to go specifically to Florence. This process will look at a student’s GPA, their course selection and relevance to Florence, a personal statement written by the applicant, and why they want to study in Florence rather than another country.
“Our fashion design and merchandising majors, our interior design majors and our art history majors are definitely going to get priority in the selection process,” Severson said. “Not only is it a really good program but it’s also, in terms of fashion and design, the only semester program that they can go on in order to graduate on time.”
Junior early childhood education major Madi Herron studied abroad in Florence last spring. Although Herron liked Florence, she said it would have been better if there was a smaller number of TCU students studying with her.
“I think it is better that there are smaller amounts because it was kind of a TCU bubble,” Herron said. “You’d walk by them all the time and you’d see them everywhere.”
The study abroad office expects to send students to Rome from the Neeley School of Business, the College of Communication and the AddRan College of Liberal Arts. Severson said the curriculum in Rome matches very well with those specific colleges.