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Old Gold & Black

Old Gold & Black

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Housing for those returning from studying abroad

Photo by Annalee Hoffman. Phase 3 of the Senior Village. Students abroad are uncertain of where they will be living upon their return to campus.

Wofford prides itself on the opportunities for students to study abroad, ranking No. 7 in the nation for the percentage of students participating in study abroad programs during their college career. 

Unfortunately, Wofford has had a history of having not enough housing for students, which leaves those currently abroad asking one question: where are we going to live when we get back?

There are currently 75 students abroad for the fall semester and 38 students will be abroad for the spring semester. 

With the current number abroad being nearly double those leaving in the spring, those abroad are concerned there won’t be enough room on campus for them to live. 

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During the 2019-2020 academic year some Wofford students were placed at Converse University due to limited housing in Wofford’s dorms. 

“Each year the imbalance in study abroad numbers between the terms creates a unique puzzle for us to work through,” said Allen Lollis, assistant dean of students for residence life.

Lollis also explained that the Office of Residence Life doesn’t finalize housing for the spring until over winter break, but that there will be housing for all students returning from off-campus studies. 

Molly Whitener ’23, who is studying in Paris for the fall semester, is thankful that she decided to live off-campus when she returns. 

“It’s nice not having (housing) to worry about,” Whitener said.

Looking back at previous years, Wofford began having a “fall heavy” abroad after the Greek recruitment semester shift in the 2017-2018 school year. During the 2020-2021 school year, there was only one student participating in off-campus study during fall semester and only 6 participants in spring 2021 due to the COVID-19 restrictions. 

Though Lollis said that there will be housing for students when they return, those abroad have not yet heard anything about their potential living arrangements. 

Natalie Aversano ’23, who is currently studying abroad in Copenhagen, said the only thing she has heard from the school was being asked to complete a form regarding if she will be on campus for Interim.

Aversano also said that the school has not notified her regarding when she will hear about her housing placement and “ “they gave us no choice in regard to suitemates and zero idea when they are going to let us know where or who we’re living with.”

Another student who is abroad, who asked to remain anonymous, said that they hope to hear something soon since they leave in less than a month to come home. 

“Since we’ve really heard nothing from the school, I’m wondering if I need to find a place off-campus to live,” the student said. 

Bence Bays, one of Wofford’s study abroad advisors, said that some students are abroad for the whole academic year and are counted in both groups of abroad as well as those who do not plan to live on campus once returning to Wofford.

By having a large majority of students being residential, housing issues aren’t a rare occurrence. 

This has left them with creative solutions, such as offering incentives to students living off-campus or placing students in temporary housing until they can be placed in a better location, both of which were used in Wofford’s past. 

Though the abroad students may not know where they will be living, Wofford will make sure they are provided housing somewhere. 

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