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Hope College Ranks High in Study Abroad Participation

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College is best when you’re both thrilled and a little scared. When you’re soaking in so much new experiences, pushing limits and challenging everything you thought you knew.

It’s a sensation that can come in classroom lectures during eureka moments. And it’s one that happens regularly during study abroad semesters, when classroom teachings are put into action and new paths are forged.

Few colleges give students more of an opportunity to explore the world — and themselves — than Hope College. The Michigan college recently was named in the top 40 nationwide for the number of students who studied abroad during the 2013-2014 school year, according to a report from the Institute of International Education.

What’s impressive is Hope ranked alongside much bigger schools, some of which have 10 times the enrollment as the 3,300 for Hope.

That speaks to the college’s commitment to allowing students to see the world.

“At Hope we recognize the value of study abroad as a fundamental part of an education, especially as we emphasize preparing students for lives of leadership and service in a global society,” said Amy Otis-DeGrau, director of international education at Hope.

“Off-campus study, and study abroad in particular, is an important way of providing students with an opportunity to engage with another culture and society, and to learn something about who they are as Americans,”

Hope students have access to more than 200 off-campus study programs in every continent except Antarctica. The studies study for a semester or a year at more than 60 countries, from Bolivia to Uganda.

“Studying abroad was the more valuable experience of my college career,” said Daniel Schriemer, a 2013 Hope graduate.

“During my time in the Dominican Republic, I encountered an unfamiliar place, culture, and people. But my new experiences also helped me gain a new perspective on myself. I came home with an elevated sense of confidence in my abilities, a broadened worldview, and a greater understanding of my place in the world.”

Studying abroad. Finding yourself. Charting a unique path. That’s what we do at Hope College and Michigan’s top 15 independent colleges and universities.

The schools pride themselves on being different than big state universities, cherishing community over crowd and experiences over enrollment.

Often less expensive than public institutions, the independents boast higher four-year graduation rates for a truly unique and affordable experience.

Be bold. Be different. Go independent.