News, On Campus, Off Campus, Top Story, Administration

OIP Releases Study Abroad Decisions

The Office of International Programs (OIP) released its study-abroad placements to students on Tuesday morning on the Agora Portal. Seventy-two percent of students received their top-choice program in both location and semester—a slight increase from last year’s rate of  70 percent—according to Nick Gozik, director of OIP. 

Of the 945 students who applied to study abroad, 85 percent received one of their six choices, Gozik said in an email to The Heights. All applicants who fulfilled the eligibility requirements were assigned a program.

For those students not placed in their six initial choices, OIP placed them in a program of their choice during the fall semester. Nearly all students were admitted to a program they requested, if not their semester of choice.

An imbalance in the number of students going abroad in the fall and spring spring semesters prompted the University to introduce limits on the number of students who could study abroad each semester in 2018. The year prior, 72 percent of students applying for study abroad requested the spring semester, while 28 percent requested the fall.

On account of the limits, last year, OIP required students to list three programs on their applications and rank them in order of their preference—rather than simply apply for one program, as was done in years prior. Students also had to include at least one fall-semester program among the three on their applications. Before the limits were applied, students only applied to one study abroad program at a time, reapplying if they were not accepted.

In response to the feedback OIP received from last year’s process, students this year were allowed to apply to six programs. Students were also not required to list the fall as an option during the application process.

“We wanted students to have the maximum ability to give us an indication of their preferences,” Gozik said in the email. “At the same time, we were honest about the need to balance our numbers and encouraged students to consider the fall semester.”

In early fall 2019, all sophomores were notified of these changes, which were communicated through mandatory Study Abroad 101 sessions, online updates on the OIP website, and in advising sessions.

Students must decide whether to accept their placement by Feb. 25. This year, OIP is also giving students the opportunity to be placed on a waitlist for various spring programs after Feb. 25.

“We are cautioning students that the availability of spring programs is very slim, especially if they have been placed in the fall,” Gozik said.

Featured Image by Jonathan Ye / For The Heights

February 7, 2020

The Heights is an independent student newspaper that relies partly on donations to continue its award-winning coverage of Boston College and beyond. During College Media Madness, consider supporting the 501(c)3 nonprofit.