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300th WKU Student Attends Harlaxton College

Western Kentucky University sent a record number of students to England this year on the semester-length program, “WKU in England, Harlaxton College,” including the 300th student to spend a semester at Harlaxton College.

Shelby Schaefer is a communication disorders major from Paducah graduating in spring 2016, she is spending the spring 2014 semester at Harlaxton.

“The last eight weeks has been full of self-discovery through conquering the world and I would recommend studying abroad to anyone.” she said.  “My recommendation for future WKU study abroad students is to fully immerse yourself in the culture wherever you go and don’t be afraid to do something out of the ordinary or stray from the plan.”

Harlaxton College, owned by the University of Evansville, is a 19th century English manor house that has been turned into a prestigious American college for study abroad students. Known for its beauty and its historical significance, Harlaxton College received its first WKU students in 2007.

The “WKU in England” program is open to all WKU students with a 3.2 GPA or higher. To learn more about the program or to apply, visit www.wku.edu/studyabroad.  

WKU has also sent many students to study at Harlaxton College on summer faculty-led programs. Nineteen WKU faculty members have internationalized themselves professionally by teaching at Harlaxton on the WKU in England semester-long program or on a WKU faculty-led program. WKU has shown its commitment to this special partnership by sending a WKU faculty member every semester to teach at Harlaxton College.

In addition to opportunities for students to study and faculty to teach, WKU has access to a beautiful three-story apartment that can be rented to parents, WKU faculty/staff, and friends of WKU.

“This special partnership has truly spearheaded WKU’s international reach,” Dr. Craig T. Cobane, WKU’s Chief International Officer, said.

“Since 2007, WKU students have brought their energy and vitality to Harlaxton College,” Dr. Earl Kirk, Director of Study Abroad and Harlaxton College, University of Evansville, said. “These students have taken on key leadership roles in student government and clubs at Harlaxton. They have been fearless in taking on new challenges and generous in sharing what they learn with others.  The growth in self-confidence and social skills and academic knowledge are obvious when talking to WKU students who have returned from Harlaxton.   They have a passion for the place, and their eyes light up when Harlaxton is mentioned.  The chance to live in close quarters with fellow students and their professors accelerates the learning and growth processes.  Whenever I return to WKU, I have Harlaxton veterans who are eager to help orient the students who are about to depart for the UK.”  

Dr. Kirk said he was thankful for the support of the WKU administration and staff who provide the resources to make the Harlaxton study abroad experience possible for so many worthy students. 

“They are excellent academic and social leaders, contributing much to Harlaxton College,” he said. “We look forward to many years of mutual involvement in international education at Harlaxton College and in the development of responsible global citizens.” 

WKU President Gary Ransdell called Harlaxton College “a defining study abroad program which underscores our emerging international reach at WKU.  It is also a great example of the value of critical collaboration with a partner university--in this case, the University of Evansville.

“I appreciate the support of President Tom Kazee and our colleagues at the U. of E., including Dr. Gordon Kingsley, who directs the Harlaxton experience, manages the Manor House and welcomes our WKU students to study there.  Our students and faculty who spend a semester there, or a winter or summer term, are immersed in the United Kingdom and exposed to much of Europe in structured and unstructured ways.  It is indeed a rich study abroad experience; but the curriculum is in English, which makes it manageable for students or faculty who might not be proficient in a foreign language.  Harlaxton is a crown jewel in WKU's study abroad portfolio!"

For more information about the WKU Harlaxton College study abroad program, “WKU in England”, contact Abby Leake in the Study Abroad and Global Learning office at abby.leake@wku.edu.

For more information about teaching at Harlaxton College or staying in the Gate House, contact Dr. Clay Motley in the WKU Honors College at clay.motley@wku.edu.

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 Last Modified 9/25/14