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Last summer, a group of first-year students began their journey in Maryville University’s new Global Scholars program by studying abroad in Oxford, England. The experience created lasting friendships, and set the stage for their next three years of study.
“The program is one of a kind,” says Rebecca Dohrman, PhD, program director and assistant professor of communication. “Global Scholars responds to the confluence of trends in students wanting to study abroad and high-achieving students wanting an accelerated program.” The program is highly competitive and will accept about 25 first-year students for the next cohort, which begins Fall 2016.
“I was enchanted by the potential to travel and graduate early,” says Gabrielle Horwitz, who has traveled abroad before. “I love seeing new cultures and meeting new people. The absolute best part of studying abroad was meeting people who have become my best friends.”
“I love the opportunities we get to take and the people we take them with,” says student Rachel Holtzman. “It was great getting to meet people before moving onto campus, especially as someone who is not from the St. Louis area.”
“By getting a double major and participating in all of these study abroad experiences, I will be a better candidate for graduate school and have more experience with different cultures.”
The students will live on Maryville’s campus for three years, but study abroad for a month during three consecutive summers, which accelerates their program and allows them to graduate early. The first cohort in the academic program began their experience at Oxford University, studying British life and culture.
Peter Green, PhD, assistant dean of social sciences and associate professor of psychology, accompanied the students to London, and taught in the program. “One of the most amazing aspects of the first cohort was how rapidly they became a tight-knit group in Oxford, and how those relationships continued as they transitioned to their first semester living on campus,” Green says.
“The Global Scholars Program is offering me a chance to study at some of the most prestigious schools in the world, and get a glimpse of the world beyond our own borders,” says student Taylor Tomlin. “I met some of the best people I will ever know.”
Michaela Walker, who had never traveled abroad before, says every day was a new adventure. “This was an opportunity to start my college experience on a different continent,” she says. “I got to adjust to being away from home and my parents, while also building relationships.”
The summer abroad also helped Cara Rickert become comfortable with the idea of living away from home. “The experience helped me transition to college,” she says.
Along with international studies, Holtzman is majoring in psychology/sociology. She plans to become a clinical psychologist. “By getting a double major and participating in all of these study abroad experiences, I will be a better candidate for graduate school and have more experience with different cultures,” she says.