STLCC-Meramec partners with British university to provide students with a chance to immerse themselves in a new culture
By: BRITTNEY FARROW
Every four years STLCC– Meramec campus gets the opportunity to take students to study abroad in Canterbury, England. Since 1992, STLCC has been partnered with Canterbury Christ Church University in an attempt to create a connection between British and American students.
With more than a decade of history between the two schools the program is used as a mutually-beneficial resource to showcase the differences between the American and British educational model at a university level. Now, with a course coming up in September, the program is looking for responsible and interested students to submerse themselves in an entirely different culture.
Chosen for her background in teaching U.S. Politics, Assistant Professor of Political Science Dr. Emily Neal will act as the trip mentor for the upcoming September – December session. As a mentor, Neal said that her role in the program will be similar to a professor combined with a resident assistant.
“The primary role of the mentor is to provide support and guidance and to encourage a sense of community,” Neal said.
Aside from guiding Meramec students during their trip, Neal will also make academic presentations and accompany the students on scheduled field trips around the country. Currently scheduled trips include visits to landmarks such as Windsor Castle and Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre. While in college, Neal said that she did field work in both Mexico and Canada, but that she never had the opportunity to travel abroad.
“I really want students to learn about themselves and what it’s like to live in another country,” Neal said.
To be eligible for the program, students have to have taken at least 12 credits at a university level, have maintained a 3.0 and have earned a “C” or better in College Composition I (ENG101). Aside from the academic requirements, Neal says that the program is looking for students who have a sense of adventure, a willingness to take risks and are willing to be taken out of their comfort zone in order to experience a new culture. While studying at CCCU, students are required to take a class in British Politics and Society (PSC104). Students can also choose to take British Literature (ENG211) and British History (HST139) or one of the two courses.
Students must also choose two other courses in subjects such as art, English, philosophy and other subjects.
Unlike the American educational model, the British school system doesn’t rely on tests and quizzes to determine a course grade. While at CCCU, students will have one essay that they will work on for each of their classes for the entire semester. Their entire grade will hinge on that one project.
While Neal said that preparations for the trip are still ongoing, she is excited about the plans for the program and hopes that the students integrate as much as possible with the British culture.
“I hope that students get an enriching experience on a personal and academic level; maybe even a cultural level,” Neal said. “I hope they go in with an open mind, try new things and find a rigorous program that challenges and excites them.”