University of Tampa Freshman Will Study In England This Fall

What if your first year away from home and in the college scene involved actual trips to Buckingham Palace? Trafalger Square? Stonehenge and The Tower of London?
This fall, college freshman at the University of Tampa will have an opportunity to experience that and more in UT's new Freshman Abroad program.

"One of the academic reasons we've been pursuing this program is because we think it's a valuable experience for students to spend a semester abroad, but over the last 20-30 years or so, certain majors have gotten more and more prescriptive of what they require of students when they come in," says Kevin Beach, associate dean of the baccalaureate experience who is helping to coordinate the program. "Once a student starts on campus, if they're in one of those majors, perhaps the sciences, education, nursing, it's very difficult for those students to take a semester off, then come back and reintegrate into the program."

For this reason, the Freshman Abroad program allows select students to experience studying abroad before getting rooted into their major. Beach says by sending first year students, they're not as indoctrinated into their programs yet and they feel like they have a little more freedom to get out and experience this opportunity.

While a few other universities across the country have freshman study abroad programs, this will be UT's first. Approximately 30 students will be studying at Roehampton University in southwest London. Participation in the program allows students to also fulfill some of their general education requirements. Beach says Freshman Abroad is also a way to attract and catch the attention of really good students and introduce them to the exceptional program offerings at UT.

Olivia Doctor will be one of the first participants in UT's Freshman Abroad program this fall. She graduated from Rutherford High School in Panama City in June 2010 and says she is excited to be one of the students accepted to participate.

"I'm looking forward to just being in England, meeting new people and experiencing the culture. It's a great opportunity and it's going to be a lot of fun!" says Doctor. She also mentioned she was really pleased that all scholarships transferred and it didn't cost extra to participate.

UT's Freshman Abroad
program invites the most academically qualified students to participate. "We want to make sure these students are real ambassadors of the United States, and ambassadors of the University of Tampa," says Beach.

Writer: Nancy Vaughn
Source: Kevin Beach, University of Tampa
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