This weekend marks the grand opening of the University of Chicago Paris Center, a multi-million-dollar venture that will expand both the number and type of study-abroad programs offered at the University. The Paris Center is a one-of-a-kind endeavorunlike most university centers in other countries, the U of C center is not solely for language programs but rather a true branch of the University that will offer programs in many fields. The opening of the Center will create a permanent presence for the University in Paris, and it lays the groundwork for many future programs.
At the same time, currently less than half of students study abroad, even while the University has made clear its desire for every student to experience life in a foreign country. If this to be achieved, more programs, in more countries, during more quarters must be offered. Increased offerings outside of the social sciences, humanities, and languages would also enable students in fields such as the sciences to more easily study abroad.
Time in another country can be an eye-opening experience, one that truly contributes to “the life of the mind.” By learning in another country, students in the College can escape the bubble of Hyde Park and see another part of the world firsthand. The abroad experience is one that transcends reading and class lectures. The University and study-abroad team should be congratulated on the diverse and expanding programs offered both in Paris and around the globe. The Maroon hopes that the Paris Center is only the first step to greater study abroad opportunities offered to students at the University of Chicago.