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Four Rabari girls in traditional Indian dress

While in India, junior theater and anthropology major Gwen Adams met these four Rabari girls, who displayed their traditional tribal dress before a wedding. They gave Adams a tour of their village, offering her chai and showing her their mothers’ embroidery.

Officials at the University of Denver know that travel is an education unto itself. Through DU’s Cherrington Global Scholars program, students have an unparalleled opportunity to explore the world beyond their front doors.

The Cherrington program—which allows eligible students to spend a quarter abroad with no additional cost for tuition, room and board—was a major factor in DU’s third-place ranking in the 2009 Open Doors report on percentage of undergraduate students studying abroad.

“Our study-abroad programs encourage students to immerse themselves in other cultures,” says Eric Gould, vice provost for internationalization. “We have tremendous support from our faculty and administration, which has allowed these programs to become so popular.”

The report, which was released Nov. 16 by the Institute of International Education, shows DU sent 73.6 percent of its undergraduates to study abroad. Only Pepperdine University and the University of San Diego ranked higher than DU. “Study abroad gives students the opportunity to live in a culture while having structure and earning credit for a degree,” says Karen Becker, associate director of study abroad. “It’s a win-win situation.”

Students can choose from more than 150 locations around the globe for their study-abroad program, including Kenya, Turkey and Denmark. “Worldview is one of the most important parts of education,” says junior human communication and French major Alex Gross, who studied in France in fall 2009. “It affects how we learn and how we apply what we learn. Study abroad was a liberating, independent experience for me.”

Since 2003, DU has sponsored a study-abroad photo contest that encourages students to capture their experiences to share with others. For the 2010 contest, a judging panel of students and staff picked five winners and 15 honorable mentions in the following categories: cultural interaction; DU students abroad; people, places and food; and flora and fauna. Winners were awarded cash prizes at a gala event in January. The photos offer glimpses of life outside the U.S. through the eyes of students abroad during the fall 2009 quarter. Some photos feature breathtaking scenery; others capture local life and the faces of citizens. Each one reveals beauty and a distinct culture, regardless of the country’s social problems or economic condition.

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