9 Reasons Rollins Delivers the Best in Study Abroad

February 10, 2020

By Stephanie Rizzo ’09

A collage of images from Rollins' study abroad programs.
Photo by Scott Cook.

From the variety of once-in-a-lifetime experiences to preparation for the world’s most prestigious scholarships, find out why Rollins is one of the country’s best colleges for study abroad.

At Rollins, study abroad isn’t the exception—it’s the norm. After all, more than 70 percent of Tars participate in at least one international program during their time at Rollins, and the College ranks among the top 10 master’s-granting institutions nationwide for the percentage of students who study abroad. The College’s emphasis on global citizenship makes it an ideal fit for students looking to expand their worldview, whether that means spending a semester living and learning in Australia or dedicating a few weeks of summer to building an ecolodge in Tanzania.

“We have a strong student support model where we work with students to make sure they have whatever support they need to study abroad,” says Giselda Beaudin, Rollins’ director of global initiatives. “We also benefit from Rollins’ emphasis on experiential learning. At Rollins, it’s not just about what you do in the classroom—it’s also about creating a well-rounded college experience.”

From deep cultural immersion to rigorous coursework, here are nine of our favorite ways Rollins consistently ranks among the top institutions in the country for study abroad opportunities.

1. Variety and Flexibility

No matter what you’re interested in, Rollins offers dozens of study-abroad programs through the Office of International Programs and even more through partners like the School for International Training (SIT). With more than 80 programs to choose from, you can tailor the experience to your goals with short-term field studies or semester- and summer-long programs. Faculty and staff advisers help you choose from a host of options tied to criteria like internships, your major, relevant industries, service opportunities, or specific destinations.

A collage of several of Rollins' Fulbright scholars.A collage of several of Rollins' Fulbright scholars.
Photo by Scott Cook.

2. A Gateway to Greatness

Prestigious scholarships with an emphasis on travel—such as the Boren Scholarship, the U.S. Department of State’s Critical Language Scholarship, and the Fulbright Scholarship—tend to recruit students with study abroad experience. With such high participation in international programs, it’s no coincidence that Rollins is continually recognized as a top producer of U.S. Fulbright Scholars. Tars who study abroad as undergrads have a competitive edge when applying for international jobs, fellowships, and graduate programs.

“Once a student’s curiosity about travel and global learning has been sparked, it’s difficult to turn that back off,” says Beaudin. She explains that students often come back from abroad and immediately want to go back. In those cases, the Office of International Programs works closely with the Center for Career & Life Planning and the Office of External and Competitive Scholarship Advisement, a collaboration made much easier now that the three offices are co-located in the new Kathleen W. Rollins Hall.

Another collage of images from Rollins' study abroad programs.Another collage of images from Rollins' study abroad programs.
Photo by Scott Cook.

3. Jump-Start Your Experience

Can’t wait to board that plane? Thanks to Rollins’ First-Year Field Study, you don’t have to. Each year, environmental studies professor Barry Allen leads a group of incoming first-year students on an expedition through Costa Rica’s national parks. Open to all incoming students, the 10-day field study is packed with adventures like exploring the Monteverde Cloud Forest and spying capuchin monkeys all while learning about sustainability and conservation before you set foot in a Rollins classroom. Just ask Mikayla Panariello ’21, who while trekking through the rainforest decided to devote her career to environmental policy and sustainable development.

Rollins students walk through a Costa Rican rainforest.Rollins students walk through a Costa Rican rainforest.
Photo by Scott Cook.

4. Instagrammable Adventure

Snorkel the Great Barrier Reef after a day of researching in the lab. Trek into the heart of Serengeti National Park before spending a few days mixing compost in a Tanzanian village. Explore lavender fields in the South of France following a lecture about 18th-century art. Many of these once-in-a-lifetime adventures are built right into your study abroad program and serve only to enrich your overall educational experience.

Students stand around cars in Tanzanian savanna.Students stand around cars in Tanzanian savanna.
Photo by Scott Cook.

5. Do Good

Service learning is central to the Rollins mission and a meaningful way to connect with a new culture. Many international programs, such as political science professor Dan Chong’s field study to Tanzania, focus on community engagement and development. These experiences tap into vital problem-solving skills, teaching students to learn by doing and helping others along the way. After participating in Chong’s field study for two summers, Fulbright Scholar Nico Khazzam ’18 is now teaching English in Brazil and is thinking about becoming a professor. “I’d love to be able to take students on field studies so I can watch their eyes open as wide as mine have,” he says.

A Rollins student tutors elementary-school kids in Rwanda.A Rollins student tutors elementary-school kids in Rwanda.
Photo by Scott Cook.

6. Access to Aid

Every semester-long study abroad program offered through Rollins is designed to cost as much as a regular semester, meaning your tuition and housing costs stay the same, and your normal financial aid rolls over. “Our goal is to make these programs accessible,” says Beaudin. “Basically, if you can afford to be here at Rollins, you can afford to do a semester abroad with no essential difference.”

Short-term programs occur during winter, spring, or summer breaks (i.e., outside of a normal semester) and therefore incur additional costs. The Office of International Programs has need-based scholarships and partial awards for those who qualify. Other factors, like lower cost of living in certain countries, can also make study abroad more affordable.

A faculty member of the Office of International programs helps a student.A faculty member of the Office of International programs helps a student.
The Office of International Programs is your gateway to more than 90 study abroad opportunities.Photo by Scott Cook.

7. Internships and Work-Study

Working abroad is one of the best ways to pick up a new language or quickly acclimate to a new culture. Plus, it looks great on a resume. What better way to embrace global citizenship than by gaining real-world experience in an international environment? Many of the study abroad programs offered at Rollins—like CAPA London and Verano Espanol—have internships built right into the curriculum. For students looking to offset the cost of studying abroad, some programs include work visas that allow them to earn extra money while away.

8. Expert-Led Expeditions

When it comes to studying abroad, don’t settle for a tour guide—learn from an expert. Led by faculty members who are passionate about intercultural learning, each Rollins field study is designed to be experiential. From a chemistry course that tackles the problem of providing clean water to communities in the Dominican Republic to a literature course that puts students front and center at Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre, faculty-led field studies combine the expertise of Rollins professors with active engagement projects to make the subject matter come alive.

Rollins students install water collection systems in the Dominican Republic.Rollins students install water collection systems in the Dominican Republic.
Chemistry professor Pedro Bernal and his students have helped bring clean water to the Dominican Republic for more than two decades.Photo by Scott Cook.

9. Ever-Present Support

Studying abroad has the power to transform anyone’s college experience, but what happens when you come back? In addition to helping you go abroad, Rollins advisers and faculty can help you transition back into campus life. This could mean class projects centered on a field study, working with the Center for Career & Life Planning to determine how best to leverage your experience for the job market, or speaking to other students who are interested in international education opportunities.

Students stand on top of cars in Tanzanian savanna.Students stand on top of cars in Tanzanian savanna.
Photo by Scott Cook.

Adventure Awaits

From semesters abroad in London and Australia to field studies in Tanzania and Vietnam, discover all the unique opportunities at Rollins to become a citizen of the world.
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Study Abroad

At Rollins, you’ll make an impact around the globe. After all, more than 70 percent of Tars study abroad. From semester- and summer-long programs to faculty-led field studies, you’ll explore the world and test your ability to make it better.

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