Hobart and William Smith Colleges offer the top study abroad program in the country, according to Princeton Review’s 2018 edition of “The Best 382 Colleges.” HWS also ranks 18th in having the happiest students and 18th in best student-rated professors.
The in-depth profile highlights the Colleges’ “commitment to fostering growth of character and the ability to succeed in our chosen field,” provide a “well-rounded education,” as well as small-class sizes, faculty engagement, career preparation, study abroad opportunities, a strong alum network and enriching extracurricular opportunities.
“The students, staff, and faculty really embrace the idea of the liberal arts education here,” one student notes. “Connections are made across disciplines, borders, and generations.” Another student appreciates how “Professors are always accessible, and a good number of them reach out to their students as opposed to simply expecting students to take initiative for help. They easily become friends with students and keep in touch with and mentor them after graduation.”
“Basically every single class I have walked out of I have called my mom or dad to discuss some wild new set of information I learned that I hadn’t known before. That’s a pretty awesome thing,” one student says.
In addition to highlighting the commitment to academic excellence at the Colleges, students reflected that a “strong sense of community defines Hobart and William Smith Colleges,” and those communities include Geneva, N.Y., where the Colleges are located as well as “…what it means to be a global citizen in the biggest sense of the word.”
The Colleges’ study abroad program, which offers more than 50 destinations on six continents, outranks opportunities at colleges and universities across the nation including larger institutions such as University of Dallas and University of Denver, as well as Bates College, Bucknell University, Dickinson College and College of William and Mary. A number of HWS study abroad programs are led by faculty members and many of the programs offer opportunities for internships, community service and integrated housing options to encourage students to engage with their host communities abroad. Innovative pre-departure and reentry programming serve to enrich and enhance the students’ academic and intercultural experiences. HWS climbs to the top spot after being named 7th in last year’s ranking.
Princeton Review does not rank colleges and universities that fall below the 20th spot for happiest students and the highest-rated professors, a policy that further exemplifies the honor of the distinction.
Recent praise for the Colleges also includes being named among the nation’s top colleges and universities for outstanding outcomes in Princeton Review’s 2017 edition of “Colleges That Create Futures,” one of the nation’s “50 Best Liberal Arts Colleges” by Money magazine for the second year in a row, and as a top school for outcomes in Forbes’ Grateful Grad Index, which ranks institutions by their ROI, taking into consideration metrics such as annual giving.