School Spotlight: Dickinson College
Updated: May 8
These days, just about every college/university touts their access to study abroad programs, but only a few schools really deserve the accolades for their emphasis on global learning. Dickinson College's mission includes "preparing students to lead rich and fulfilling lives of engaged global citizenship." The pandemic may have put some limitations on access to the full range of international opportunities previously afforded to students, but it has not altered the mission to focus on global engagement. In fact, Dickinson launched new virtual global classes to enable students, parents, alumni and stuff to experience other cultures, cities, and people without leaving home.
The first thing to know about Dickinson is that it has been recognized as #5 in the country for long-term study abroad (Open Doors Report, Institute of International Education) and hosts 18 of its own global programs. Dickinson teaches 13 foreign languages and 63% of students at Dickinson participate in international education.
Other Dickinson fun facts?
The Dickinson College Farm manages over 80 acres of land and grows more than 55 types of certified organic vegetables. Community members can join the Campus Supported Agriculture (CSA) subscription program and students can engage in fieldwork, learning about sustainable food production, renewable energy, environmental science, animal husbandry and more. Dickinson even offers a certificate program in Food Studies.
Dickinson facilitates the transition to college by "deepening your critical writing, reading, and research skills" through enrollment in the First-Year Seminar, a class of no more than 16 students. Topics range from Lies, Revenge, and Really Bad Ideas: How Behavioral Economics Explains Some of Our Most Human Moments to From Babble to Babel: Becoming Bilingual. Students have the opportunity to pick 5 choices from 40 and will be placed in one of their top 5 choices.
Dickinson offers traditional residence halls, small houses and apartment-style living, and Special Interest Housing (SIH). Students can connect with like-minded peers in Houses focused on Music, Outdoor Education, Social Justice or Romance Languages, among others.
Dickinson places a strong emphasis on Community Engagement and students are given a multitude of opportunities to give back through the Center for Civic Learning and Action. The Community Engagement Fellows program has students volunteering with a non-profit organization in Carlisle that has partnered with Dickinson. Fellows will also participate in leadership training, develop learning goals, and incorporate their community-based experience into their academic work.
Dickinson is a liberal arts college that is exclusively focused on undergraduate education, so students have access to research opportunities and faculty interaction that is typically reserved for upperclassmen or graduate students at other institutions.