Going abroad is an exhilarating, affirming and transformative experience. The college emphasizes understanding the world at large and prepares students for the challenges of national and international leadership through its study abroad opportunities. Davidson students embrace education abroad in all forms – to conduct research, perform service, or complete an internship. Approximately 80 percent of the student body study, travel, work, or perform service in another country.
Study abroad is an invaluable opportunity that supplements the Davidson undergraduate experience. Students have the opportunity to choose from more than 10 Davidson faculty led programs or from nearly 200 programs that are run by third-party providers around the world and earn academic credit. By the time a class graduates, about 65 percent of them have studied abroad for a year, a semester, or a summer.
Travel grants provide one of Davidson's most effective internationalization tools. During the last academic year, the program awarded grants to 96 students totaling $228,250. Most of these grants go to students who design their own research projects abroad. Projects included archaeological digs in Mexico and field biology and rainforest ecology research in Australia. These kinds of projects give students the opportunity to develop the kind of independence and creativity that are hallmarks of a liberal arts education.
The Dean Rusk International Studies Program is the organizing mechanism for expanding internationalism across the Davidson experience. The program embodies the belief that knowledge of other cultures and of the social, economic, political, and scientific forces that shape our world are integral to a liberal arts education. Established in 1985 and named in honor of former Secretary of State Dean Rusk ’31, the program works to give every Davidson student an informed awareness of our whole planet and direct knowledge of at least one international area.