Students at the College of William and Mary have been studying abroad for quite awhile now, but the creation of a joint degree program with the University of St. Andrews in Scotland offers them a new kind of experience abroad — the kind you can count in years, not weeks. More often than not, study abroad lasts just a semester, or sometimes less than a month. These programs can become a kind of extended vacation, leaving students searching for something more. In addition, the need to satisfy major requirements and GERs and the hassle of transferring credit from institutions abroad dampen even the most eager spirits. The new program promises to eliminate much of the red tape while providing a more fulfilling experience.
When the program comes online, 160 to 200 students at St. Andrews and the College will trade places. The size of the program allows even those who don’t participate to benefit from sharing classes with their foreign peers. And, after all, it’s that kind of exposure that comprises a large part of study abroad’s allure, and part of the intent with these programs is to make the College more attractive to prospective students. At a time when extended experience in a foreign land has become all but a life essential, this joint project represents a true commitment to building global understanding in a new generation.