OP-EDS

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November 26, 2002

Absorb foreign experience

The University acted wisely when it made the decision recently to pioneer a Civilization Study Abroad program conducted entirely in a foreign language. The new program, which will be housed in the University's new building in Paris and taught completely in French, should be a success in bringing students closer to the civilization they are studying.

In the past, the academic requirements of study abroad programs administered in English by this University have been lenient. Though students have repeatedly emerged with good impressions, they have also emerged with a reputation for neglecting their studies at times. By synthesizing the linguistic and cultural aspects of the usual programs, the University is giving students an opportunity to enjoy themselves abroad while absorbing more of the country in which they are ostensibly immersed.

Moreover, the innovation should increase enrollment in language classes, especially among the older students, who are sometimes reluctant to take them. It is very encouraging to see that the University is not content to allow study abroad programs to fall below Chicago's traditionally high standards.

Whether or not stories of Americans carousing in foreign countries are true, the Paris program is a welcome next step in the study abroad program as a whole. Under the guidelines of an improved curriculum, students can uphold the lofty reputation of the University at home as well as afar.