Middlebury

Middlebury Adds Program in Oxford to Its Network of Study Abroad Sites

January 15, 2014

Middlebury College will inaugurate its first study abroad site in the U.K. this fall when it takes on the operations of the Centre for Medieval and Renaissance Studies (CMRS) in Oxford, England.

CMRS has offered U.S. college and university students a rigorous academic program in the humanities for almost 40 years. As associate members of Keble College, one of the University of Oxford’s 38 colleges, CMRS students are able to participate fully in student life at one of the world’s leading universities.

The rechristened Middlebury College-CMRS Oxford Humanities Program will join the 16 international programs that currently form the global C.V. Starr-Middlebury Schools abroad network, known for its academically and culturally immersive approach. Middlebury-CMRS will continue to expand the scope of the program’s excellent academics, which includes the Oxford-style one-on-one tutorial, and through its relationship with Keble College will continue to create opportunities for students to immerse themselves in Oxford student life. The CMRS facility, St. Michael’s Hall, is located in the center of the historic city of Oxford.

“Our Schools Abroad network now covers many key locations around the world,” said Michael Geisler, vice president of Language Schools, Schools Abroad and graduate programs at Middlebury. “We’re pleased to offer students the opportunity to study in England as well, and especially at a program where they will experience the academic rigor Oxford is known for.”

Rooted in the humanities, Middlebury-CMRS welcomes applicants from all academic disciplines, and those who choose to design their own curriculum. Students may apply to study for a semester or a year, and will receive Middlebury College academic credit for their coursework.

According to Middlebury Dean of International Programs Jeff Cason, Middlebury-CMRS is distinctive among study abroad programs in the U.K. because of the three academic components that make up its curriculum. One of these is a research seminar — an individual student project supervised by CMRS-affiliated faculty members that culminate in a significant research paper based on work in the libraries, art galleries, and museums of Oxford, including all those which are attached to or managed by the University of Oxford. For a readings seminar, students choose topics ranging from art to social theory in time periods spanning medieval to modern. Readings seminars are small — usually no more than six students — and are taught by faculty from Oxford institutions. Students also take two one-on-one tutorials, which are unique to the Oxford educational system. Tailored to student academic interests, tutorials are usually taught by Oxford faculty members, and allow students many rich curricular choices.

keble-library

 Keble College Library

Students in the program are associate members of Keble College, one of the largest colleges at Oxford. At Keble, students have multiple opportunities for integration into university life, including clubs and sports teams, as well as use of the dining hall, common room, library, and all its other social and academic facilities — some of the best at Oxford. Middlebury-CMRS students also have access to all branches of the university’s Bodleian Library, and its clubs and societies as well as the University’s renowned sporting and other facilities. Students live at St. Michael’s Hall, a centrally located facility that includes classrooms, a 40-bed dormitory, a large kitchen, and social spaces.

Paul Monod, Middlebury College A. Barton Hepburn Professor of History, will serve as the director of the program during the 2014-2015 academic year. Monod, whose areas of academic research include 17th-18th century Britain, was the acting dean of International Programs at Middlebury from 2012-2013. “Middlebury-CMRS is an excellent program for students with an interest in the humanities who want to spend a semester or year in Oxford and experience an intellectually challenging environment,” said Monod. “At the same time, students have a wonderful chance to learn about British culture firsthand.”

“Middlebury is a leader in study abroad programs, so I’m very pleased that it has taken over the management and operation of the CMRS programs,” said John Feneley, who co-founded CMRS with his wife Sandy Feneley in 1975. “For years CMRS has provided students from the U.S. with the valuable experience of learning in Oxford. More than 4,100 alumni of the program have had this opportunity. With Middlebury’s vision, I know the program will grow even stronger.”

For more information, contact Paul Monod, director of the Middlebury College-CMRS Oxford Humanities Program, at monod@middlebury.edu, or Stacey Thebodo, Middlebury College assistant director of International Programs and Off-Campus Study, at sthebodo@middlebury.edu or 802-443-5745.

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