Advanced Studies in England

Advanced Studies in England

About

Advanced Studies in England is a small study abroad program based in the World Heritage city of Bath, in southwest England (an hour-and-a-half's train ride from London). We offer single semester, full year and a five-week Summer School to a cohort of up to fifty-five US undergraduate students.

We specialise in small seminar classes and one-on-one or two-on-one Oxford-style tutorials in a wide range of liberal arts subjects, taught by UK professors, many from Oxford University. We also offer a range of internships with local organisations, museums and businesses as well as an education program comprising a seminar class and school placement.

Students live in self-catered apartments in eighteenth- and nineteenth-century townhouses within the city. The Program takes cultural enrichment and integration very seriously; offering many opportunities for getting involved with the students from Bath's two universities, and the wider local community.

Founded
1989

Reviews

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Clare
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

ASE is a great program. Hands down, one of the best decisions I've ever made. I loved the trip to Stratford-upon-Avon the most - being able to see three Royal Shakespeare Company shows was life-changing. I formed a lot of close friendships while also gaining a lot of confidence, whether that be academically, socially, or personally. Bath is an absolutely beautiful city that is small enough that you can really get to know every single part of it and feel like a real resident, but big enough that there's still always something to do.

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Rachel
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

I was part of this program for a full academic year, and the decision to apply was the best I've made in quite some time. Living in Bath is a uniquely special experience. It's a place where rich history lives alongside a hub of bustling tourism, meaning there's always something to do if you look for it. ASE puts a lot of effort into ensuring its students have as many opportunities as they want to take advantage of; your level of involvement in the community is almost completely customizable to your comfort level, but you have to take initiative. There are mandatory study trips to Stratford-upon-Avon, Oxford, and Stonehenge, as well as course-specific class trips (for example, to nearby Glastonbury), which means that every student will experience life beyond Bath to some degree. The three-day weekends also allow students an abundance of travel time, as the importance of fully integrating into and exploring the country is stressed early on in the program. In terms of academics, the workload is rigorous but not impossibly difficult, and the smaller class sizes allow for a more personalized learning experience. Every tutor I had was enthusiastic and incredibly knowledgeable about their subject of choice, and the way classes and essays were structured meant that I developed further as an academic. Equally dedicated and personable were the ASE staff members, who were genuinely friendly and supportive, and I found it hard to leave them behind come the end of my second semester. Altogether, this program offers a perfect blend between schoolwork, social activity, and cultural exploration, and I know that the lessons I learned (both academically and personally) and the friends I made will stick with me for a long time.

What would you improve about this program?
To be honest, there isn't much I would change about this program. While I would have liked more opportunities for involvement with the nearby universities, I'm also aware that this isn't a shortcoming that solely reflects on ASE, as the universities themselves must be open to communication. The student helpers went a long way towards bridging this gap, however, especially in the second semester.
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Catherine
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

I am so glad I made the decision to participate in ASE Summer School 2015. I enjoyed two challenging yet not overwhelming history classes that explored the city and used our location to enhance our learning (Romans in Britain and Domestic Soldiers). I lived in a beautiful 19th-century villa with 7 other housemates and we enjoyed living in a regular neighborhood of Bath, rather than a dormitory. The entire ASE staff was incredibly welcoming and supportive, from giving recommendations on the best pubs, to advice on good day trips, to figuring out the British grocery store. The ASE staff also organized fantastic social excursions for us to Cornwall, London, Oxford, Stonehenge, and Glastonbury--these trips are what make ASE stand out from other study abroad programs.
I will always happily remember my time in Bath.

What would you improve about this program?
I think Summer School should be longer, at least 7-8 weeks--since we are completing semester length courses, this way we'd be completing a semester-length course in half the time rather than a third of the time. Also, it took a week or two to get settled and by that time it was almost time to leave! I would have liked to stay longer.
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Jeremy
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

It's very hard for me to believe that it has been just slightly over a year since I was last across the pond and taking part in this wonderful program.

What I believe to be most difficult, especially upon my return, was trying to describe the program and all that had taken place in just the short five weeks. The only word I seem to keep coming back to is "perfect."

Advanced Studies in England (ASE) have put together one of the greatest overall experiences I've ever been a part of. The program sends students to some of the most incredible places that leaves you feeling as though you've seen the variety that's across England. In addition to some seriously astounding views that would even make the most pristine Instagram account blush. The staff is incredible from tutors Rob, Laura, and Bill to the office crew of Emma, Lindsay, Lucy, and Sue. Seriously some of the kindest people I've ever met.

If you choose to explore, make the most of your time, and put in the necessary work, you will be more than rewarded for the effort and will be forever changed for it.

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Gina
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Summer 2014 in Bath is something I will never, ever forget. I learned so much and made wonderful, true friends. It's been one year and my Linley Housemates and I still talk pretty regularly! I honestly think that I came out of my ASE experience a better version of myself because of all of the support I had from faculty and classmates, the beauty and history of the city and other travel destinations, and of course, all of the laughs and smiles. I wish my school schedule had worked out so that I could do a semester or even a year with ASE, but I am so grateful for my couple of months. I wouldn't trade my experience for the world!

Programs

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Alumni Interviews

These are in-depth Q&A sessions with verified alumni.

Jeremy Brinling

Hi everyone! I'm Jeremy, a senior student from Miami University of Ohio in Oxford, OH. I'm an Interactive Media Studies major and an Entrepreneurship minor. I'm from Erie, Pennsylvania and I love music, comedy, traveling, and the muppets.
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Why did you pick this program?

England and studying the BBC. What more could you ask for?

What do you wish someone had told you before you went abroad?

The city or country you choose to visit will change you, and that’s okay. Additionally, there’s no way to prepare for all that you’re about to experience. So, the sooner you can give into the place you're in and pursue opportunity, the better your time will be.

What is the most important thing you learned abroad?

It's very cliche, but, I learned a lot about myself. Five weeks across the ocean, disconnected from a phone, and exploring a completely new area will tell you more about yourself than you could ever imagine.

What do you tell your friends who are thinking about going abroad?

Now is the time. I don't care how old you are, where you are going, or what excuses you might be placing before yourself. Where there's a will, there is a way and surely, this will be one of the most exciting times you could ever have.

What was the hardest part about going abroad?

I'm sure that going abroad during a full school semester is a bit different but I really just had the expected worries: what will I miss out on during summer, will I have fun, will this be worthwhile?

These experiences are amazing, unforgettable, and incredibly worthwhile. You'd be doing yourself a disservice if you don't go abroad during your time at school.

What's your favorite story to tell about your time abroad?

I traveled to Bristol, crashed a wedding, visited a local food festival, posed as prospective students to get a full campus tour of Bristol University, fed a lemur, had the best mussels of my life, watched a skate competition, saw Blackbeard's original ship...and that was all in one day.

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Staff Interviews

These are in-depth Q&A sessions with program leaders.

Rob Jones

Job Title
Academic Administrator
Rob Jones joined ASE in January 2013. As academic administrator Rob supports the Director of Studies in the running of the academic program, but he also supports the marketing and recruitment effort, coordinates the alumni association and teaches tutorials. He graduated from Cardiff University in 2006, completing a PhD in medieval military display. He has published two books - Bloodied Banners: Martial Display on the Medieval Battlefield and The Knight: Warrior and World of Chivalry - and has just started work on two more. Outside of work, Rob enjoys cooking and baking, and is a keen western martial artist, training with long-sword and rapier and dagger.
Beautiful Scenery

What was your favorite traveling experience?

I’ve been very lucky in my opportunities to travel; I’ve been on safari in Kenya, traveled down the Nile from Aswan to Luxor on a sail barge (which was very Agatha Christie, but without the ‘Death’!) I’ve also been to Russia, and regularly visit France and Germany.

I’m a historian and so I love places with history. I guess that’s why Florence and Siena stick in my mind. The latter in particular, with its huge cathedral, narrow medieval alleyways and the city hall – the Palazzo Pubblico – was just wonderful.

But, to be honest, my favorite travel experience is that of coming home. I’m very lucky to live among the rolling hills of south Wales, and to work in a beautiful and historic city; I still love to come back to its honey-colored streets.

What language have you always wanted to learn and why​?

I’d love to improve my language skills overall – I can manage basic conversations in French and German, but would definitely like to be more fluent in both. If was to learn a new language, I think Swahili.

In part because I’d love to go back to Africa, but also (the academic talking again) it’s such a differently-constructed language from those of Western Europe, but built up of a mix of African dialects, Arabic, Portuguese and English – fascinating.

What changes would you make to the study abroad industry?

Apart from making more students come and study with us at ASE? I think I’d like to see Universities provide better support for directly-enrolled international students, both academically and culturally.

Two people fighting.

Being dropped into the midst of a foreign university and taking classes with students from another country is often a real sink-or-swim experience. It can be great – a real opportunity for personal growth and exploration, but it can also be quite tough – particularly if the learning and teaching styles are very different from what the student is used to.

It can also be isolating; it doesn’t always result in the international students mixing with native students, either. Without institutional support, international students can find themselves every bit as cut off from the culture they are visiting as those on a so-called ‘island program’, if not more so.

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Professional Associations

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