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MUDEC sees sizable increase in student participation

Study abroad students are regulars in MacMillan Hall.
Study abroad students are regulars in MacMillan Hall.

For the spring 2024 semester, the Miami in Luxembourg program at the Miami University Dolibois European Center (MUDEC) is sending 17o students to Europe, the largest recorded group of students in the program’s 55 years.

Kimberly Miller, assistant director for Miami in Luxembourg, has worked at Miami for two years and said the increased interest is likely due to a post-COVID spike and the program spreading by word of mouth. A new student apartment has also created more spots for students.

“Basically overnight, we were able to admit 5o more students than we typically have in the past,” Miller said. “That is obviously a great thing.”

However, this increase in interest isn’t limited to the spring and fall semesters. Miller said MUDEC has also seen an increase in students in their summer and winter programs.

MUDEC has made several changes in order to accommodate more students. Miller said she changed the model to prepare students to go abroad, shifting it from a series of orientations to a one-day retreat. The program has also added additional course offerings.

“We’ve had to work and think harder and smarter than we have in the past to make sure we are accommodating and still want the student experience to be really positive,” Miller said. “We don’t want students to feel like they’re not getting support in the same way as they were before, so we’re always kind of redeveloping and coming up with new plans.”

Despite these changes, students have still enjoyed their experiences.

Maddie Durham, a junior history and global and intercultural studies double major, studied in Luxembourg last spring. She said she always wanted to study abroad and came to Miami specifically for the Luxembourg program.

“I grew a lot,” Durham said. “I learned a lot. It was fun to be with all Miami students.”

Durham said she would recommend the program because it allowed her to gain a greater sense of independence while in school.

“If you’ve never been abroad before and you really want to kind of get out of your comfort zone, but not too much because it’s Miami campus,” Durham said. “It’s the perfect place to do it.”

Despite the interest in Miami’s study abroad program, some students have elected to go with a third-party study abroad program instead.

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Shane Criss, a junior professional writing and media and communication double major, will be studying abroad for the spring 2024 semester, but not through MUDEC. He said he chose to study abroad with University Studies Abroad Consortium (USAC), a nonprofit organization, because he wanted “to have a more different, unique experience” with another university.

Instead of Luxembourg, Criss will be studying in Brighton, England, and said he is excited about the chance to immerse himself in another culture.

“I’m probably never going to get an opportunity like this again,” Criss said.

Miller said enrollment for the fall 2024 semester just closed and is, again, setting record numbers. She said, as a MUDEC alumna herself, she is excited about “bringing more people into the legacy.”

“Right now, we have 13,000 people that have gone through MUDEC’s doors,” Miller said. “I would love to see the program continue on for another 55 years.”