To the Editor:
In response to Adam Click’s article (“Yale culture discourages going abroad,” 2/15), I would like to correct several errors.
First, Click claims that students who study abroad are inconvenienced by having to petition for course credit. However, nearly all students who are approved for a term or year abroad by the Junior Year Abroad Committee are guaranteed credit as long as they perform well in their courses. Students do not have to petition for credit since the transfer happens automatically when my office receives the transcript.
Second, Click asserts that students on junior term abroad can only receive four credits while students on a leave of absence have no such restriction. In fact, students on junior term or year abroad receive either four or nine course credits, while students on a leave can only receive a maximum of two course credits, for which the student must petition.
Third, though Mr. Click writes that like Harvard, Yale offers no exchange programs, we currently offer one with Eberhard-Karls University in Tubingen, Germany, and we are formally affiliated with a number of foreign universities and programs, including two in Japan, two in China, and, most recently, one in Sweden. Moreover, unique to Yale is the Light Fellowship program that offers full-funding for summer, term, or year study in China, Taiwan, Korea, and Japan. And, for the second year, Yale Summer School is offering several courses abroad.
Indeed, the Office of International Education and Fellowship Programs is working carefully with faculty to expand the number of programs available for Yale College students worldwide. Along with the Provost’s University Advisory Committee on International Education and the Junior Year Abroad Committee, we strive to select programs that meet Yale’s high academic standards so that our students do not “waste” one or two of their semesters as a Yale undergraduate. Still, there is much work to be done in order to overcome students’ reluctance to leave Yale.
Barbara J. Rowe
february 19, 2002
The writer is an assistant dean of Yale College and director of the Office of International Education.