Cambridge Study Abroad Program Off ers Educational Opportunity to Honors Students

Each year, WCC’s honors program sends a dozen of its students to study abroad at the prestigious 800-year-old Cambridge University in England.

This is WCC’s sixteenth year participating in the program, which takes place between July 21 and Aug. 4, 2018. There are four choices of study that selected students can select one from: literature, history, science, and, new this year, interdisciplinary studies.

“Being in the town of Cambridge itself was great because there’s so much diversity there due to all of the international students doing the summer program, as well as the Ph.D. students doing their research there, too,” said Barbara Garcia, an Honors Program Alumni. “Cambridge has such a rich, historical background and it was great to learn about all of it.”

Taking courses and attending lectures are the main focus of the program since students receive three honors credits for going to Cambridge.

Anyone taking part in the program is required to participate in two seminars a day. These seminars are taught by Cambridge faculty, who keep a strict record of who attends, but don’t actually evaluate students.

Mentors from WCC meet with Cambridge students and evaluate them, making sure they stay on track and address any questions about the program.

Students aren’t restricted to being on campus. They live in single dorms and are provided three full-course meals, with both weeknights and weekends free, leaving their actions to their discretion.

Some activities that students have opted for in the past are attending concerts, choral groups, poetry readings, and plays, as well as taking an hour train into London.

Garcia studied science while being abroad and enjoyed not only being in Cambridge, but being in classes as well.

“The classes were really interesting because students got to sit in with people from all over the world,” Garcia said. “It was cool to see all the ways different people approached the same problems.”

Students who are considered eligible to apply are strictly honors students. They are required to maintain a GPA of a 3.25 or higher, and must apply and receive admission into the program, according to the program’s official flier.

If students are already a part of the honors program, there is a priority for selection to which the acceptance committee abides–those who are currently enrolled in the honors program, depending on the number of semesters and courses they’ve taken, as well graduated, transferred, and new honors students, according to Dr, John Flynn, director of the Cambridge trip.

Besides the standard information, the application requires a 150-300 word personal statement, two letters of recommendation from WCC faculty members, one professor being from the Honors program, a copy of a five to ten page paper previously written for an Honors course, as well as the student’s transcript and GPA, according to Flynn.

This year, the base cost to study abroad is $5,300 but all applicants are eligible to receive partial scholarships.

According to Cambridge University’s website, their mission statement is to “contribute to society through the pursuit of education, learning, and research at the highest international levels of excellence.”

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