In the summer of 1948, 17 Beaver College undergraduate women, along with their economics instructor and his wife, set sail for post-war Europe to study rebuilding efforts.
Arcadia University's excellence in study abroad started on the saddle of a bicycle, at $2 a day. Students had a summer's worth of adventure as they cycled through England, Belgium, and France in all weathers as they sought to understand the cooperative nature of rebuilding efforts.
The success of the 1948 summer study initiative spawned several more programs in other disciplines, so for the next several summers both Beaver College students and those invited from neighboring institutions took part in Beaver's European study tours.
Then in 1965, the Center for Education Abroad was established to enable American undergraduates to study for credit in fully-integrated programs in Great Britain, Austria and elsewhere. Soon thereafter, the Beaver College London Center was founded.
Over the years, Arcadia has expanded both its curricular offerings and the locations of its programming. This includes the development of Arcadia Centers around the world, including London, Athens, Rome, and Cape Town.
In 2009, the then Center for Education Abroad was elevated to College status, thereby creating The College of Global Studies. It is the first College of its kind dedicated to the delivery and development of education abroad.
In addition to the long-term study abroad programs that are a semester- or year-long opportunity, the University has established unique programs that take students around the world for shorter periods of time.
Preview, a two-credit course and weeklong international experience, began in 1994 as a way to encourage students to study abroad. Today, the program sends students to up to 17 locations each year, including countries such as South Africa, Mexico, Brazil, Cuba, Trinidad, Guatemala, South Korea, China, Australia, Romania, and Oman. In March 2018, the University sent the 7,500th student participant on Preview.
The First-Year Study Abroad Experience (FYSAE) was established in 2003 to further study abroad efforts. Since its inception, this program has enabled over 1,000 invited first-year students to study in London, England or Stirling, Scotland during the fall or spring semesters.
Beyond the first-year short-term study abroad options, the University has also established Global Field Study (GFS) courses, which began in 2010. GFS courses connect coursework with an experiential component in the field. Students have studied the politics and economics of Dominica; medieval art in Paris; ecosystems in Machu Picchu; and ceramic traditions in Denmark. Over 1,000 sophmore, junior, senior, and graduate students have participated in a GFS course.
In the summer of 1948, the world looked ahead to a brighter future. Gone was the extreme cataclysm and privation of the Second World War, but deep scars remained for the nations of Europe and their people.
As the cooperative spirit of educational exchange between nations was all but nonexistent, a Beaver College economics instructor, his wife, and seventeen undergraduate womenarrived in post-WWII Europe. The group sailed from New York to Southampton, England, on a mission of education and discovery of post-war rebuilding efforts, which would carry this determined cohort through a summer's worth of adventures. Cycling through England, Belgium, and France, in weathers both benign and challenging, they learned much more than they ever anticipated.
"Through the freedom of travel, I realized that I can be whomever I want to be and do whatever I want to do with my life. The greys that existed in my life have blossomed into shades of color."
- Biology major William Snell '19, Because Arcadia
Continued Excellence in Study Abroad
This post-WWII cohort was the precursor to what would be one of the largest and most renowned international study programs in the United States. Arcadia University is now ranked as a leader in study abroad and is one of the leading providers in international education. The institute of International Education's (IIE) Open Doors Report ranks Arcadia #1 for the percentage of undergraduate students participating in a study abroad experience. Additionally, Arcadia was shortlisted by US News & World Report for study abroad participation.
The College of Global Studies at Arcadia University is the first College of its kind dedicated to the delivery and development of education abroad. Nearly 3,000 students from over 300 colleges and universities participate in the University's programs abroad each year. Arcadia continuously strives to provide the highest level of support and service to its program participants wherever they are in the world.