It is good news that more Harvard College students than ever before are choosing to spend their summers abroad taking courses, researching honors theses, and working as interns and volunteers. It would be bad news if The Crimson was correct in reporting (“A Dry Summer For Grant Seekers,” news, Apr. 21) that many students have been unable to find the support and encouragement they need to carry out their summer plans abroad.
But The Crimson got it wrong. Record numbers of students are going abroad this summer with vastly increased support from a growing number of sources. For example, the David Rockefeller Center (DRCLAS) alone is providing support to a total of 128 College students traveling to Latin America this summer. A record number of 65 students will participate in the new DRCLAS internship programs in Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Mexico, and Peru; 34 students will take advantage of internship and study opportunities that DRCLAS helped them to arrange in other countries of the region, and 29 College students will receive DRCLAS grants for honors thesis research in Latin America. DRCLAS is also providing summer research and internship grants to 43 graduate and professional students. Moreover, the Office of International Programs is providing financial aid to many other College students going to Latin America to take courses for credit, including Harvard Summer School courses in Bolivia, Brazil, the Dominican Republic, and Honduras.
The real story of the summer of 2006 is the one The Crimson has missed so far: the unprecedented number of College students traveling abroad to live and work and learn, with more support from more sources than ever before.
JOHN H. COATSWORTH
April 25, 2006
The writer is Gutman professor of Latin American Affairs and director of the David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies.