Six Students to Attend Oxford Program

Drew Kaplan ‘20 , Editor-in-Chief

Six students have been accepted into the Visiting Students Programme at Mansfield College, University of Oxford, the third year the program has admitted this number of Dickinson College students. According to Associate Provost and Executive Director of the Center for Global Study and Engagement (CGSE) Samantha Brandauer, Dickinson College will send the maximum number of students permitted by Masfield College. 

The six students accepted to the program for the 2020 – 2021 academic year are Julia Barone ’22, Julia Chandler ’22, Mohala Kaliebe ’22, Erin Lowe ’22, Linh Nguyen ’22 and Tra Pham ’22. 

“I’m incredibly excited to have the opportunity to study the intersection of philosophy and politics” Lowe said, “I hope to establish an ethical foundation upon which I can base important decisions as I enter the post-collegiate world.”

“Yes, I’m excited” said Kaliebe. She commented on her excitement for the program.  “I’m excited to explore the expansive Bodleian Library, […] take some incredibly in-depth English courses, and hopefully get involved in some extracurriculars similar to those I’m involved in at Dickinson such as choir or the Drama Society,” she said. 

According to the CGSE website, “this process is done through a preliminary invitation-only protocol that involves a pre-screening of sophomores who may be eligible candidates.” Candidates are required to maintain a cumulative 3.7 grade point average or greater to be eligible to apply. Students are initially advised to consider applying after their first year, and are counselled regarding how to adjust their coursework during the fall semester of their sophomore year to better prepare for the academics at Oxford. Students are then required to submit an application to CGSE and then interviewed based on the strength of their applications. After interviews, successful candidates then have their applications sent to Mansfield College for final approval. “Many more are invited to apply than follow through with an application process. Students have many great opportunities for education abroad at Dickinson,” said Brandauer.

Brandauer explained that “students who meet the Mansfield GPA requirement and are either undeclared or declared in majors that work at Mansfield are invited to apply. They work with the On-Campus Coordinator, Wendy Moffat on their applications and they are vetted by an on-campus committee. It is a very rigorous selection process.”

Moffat did not respond to a request for comment by print time. 

The CGSE website notes that Mansfield College makes use of the tutorial system, rather than an American style class system. “The tutorial system places great emphasis upon the independent study skills of the student, and successful participants will need to be able to manage their course of study to a much greater degree than is typically required of undergraduates in the American system,” according to the website.

“I’ve heard from students who’ve attended the program in the past how much they enjoyed it, but I’ve also heard how it is, of course, very academically rigorous and a different style of learning than that found at Dickinson” said Kaliebe, “however, I’m up for the challenge.”

“I’ve heard wonderful things about the tutorial system and the freedom it allows,” Lowe said. 

Dickinson College students currently studying at Mansfield College and those who have studied there in the past both spoke highly of the program. Henry Olree ’21, who is studying at Mansfield College for the 2019 – 2020 academic year, explained that “the Oxford program is phenomenal. The city itself, a uniquely thorough mix of modern and medieval, never loses its charm. And it’s hard to get bored when an innumerable amount of academic and extracurricular activities are available to you.”

Audrey Schlimm ’20, who studied at Mansfield College in the 2018 – 2019 academic year, said “my year at Mansfield was incredibly enriching, both academically and personally. Oxford is an amazing, historic city, and the tutorial system allowed me to flourish.” 

“This is an amazing opportunity for our students” said Brandauer, “this is a program designed for students who do a deep dive into a particular academic area and are very focused and driven. Our colleagues at Mansfield continue to tell us that we send some of their most prepared, engaged and focused visiting, international students.”

“The number of students is dependent on the quality of the applicants in any given group,” said Brandauer.

According to an article on the Dickinson College website, Mansfield College has accepted every student application sent by Dickinson College has sent since the 2011 – 2012 academic year, when Dickinson College sent its first cohort. 

According to the Mansfield College website, students accepted to the Visiting Students Programme have come from Barnard College, Boston College, College of the Holy Cross, DePauw University, Dickinson College, Georgetown University, Hamilton College, Haverford College, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, Kenyon College, Northeastern University, Santa Clara University, Sun Yat-Sen University, Swarthmore, Trinity College of Connecticut, Trinity University, Texas, University of Iowa, University of Pennsylvania, University of Rochester, Washington and Lee University, Wheaton College, William Jewell College and Yale University, amongst others. Students have also come from countries including, but not limited to, Hong Kong, Singapore and Australia. The programs seeks to, according to the Mansfield College website, “give visiting students the chance to experience the unique opportunities provided by study at [the University of] Oxford while earning credit for their home institutions.”