SXU Honors Program offers opportunity to study abroad at Oxford
The Saint Xavier University (SXU) Honors Program invites all qualifying students to participate in the Oxford Study Abroad Program. A-once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, students will become associate members of one of four Oxford colleges and gain access to more than 12 million items at the Bodleian Library, all while living and learning in one of the most culturally valued locations in the world.
The program allows all SXU students who have a GPA of 3.2 or higher to apply, and honors students are automatically accepted if they maintain the GPA requirement. The first trip occurred in May 2017 with eight students attending. The next trip is scheduled for May 2019 and will last five weeks.
Students who participate in the program select their own are of study, ranging from social psychology to feminist theology or even Medieval art history. Students work on a one-on-one basis with their instructor as they are led through various tutorials. This unique learning experience is very different from the way students are taught in the United States. Students are able to learn through conversation, debate and even through visiting the landmarks they are learning about.
"Most students return with a very different relationship to their education," said former Honors Program Director Mary Beth Tegan, Ph.D. "They have more confidence in the research questions they pose and in their ability to pursue inquiry with rigor and care."
During the program, there are four sponsored day trips that students will attend. They will visit the houses of Parliament, Stratford Upon Avon, Stonehenge, Blenheim Palace and other landmarks. Students also have access to their campus' grounds, which include concerts, theatre experiences, art exhibits, lectures and more. Beyond those occurrences, almost all students make the decision to travel on their own to London or other areas of the United Kingdom. In the 2017 trip, some students even extended their time abroad to visit other European countries as well.
Students who decide to study at Oxford return with an improved perception of the world. These individuals have lived and studied in a foreign land and have gained experiences that they will carry with them not only to the SXU community, but throughout the rest of their lives.
"Beyond the academic benefits, students undergo the shift in perspective that travel often effects, and this shift tends to be enhanced when the experience is immersive," said Tegan. "Students become strangers in a strange place, with unfamiliar practices; being on the outside sharpens their awareness of social formation and helps them see "home" with greater objectivity and nuance."