The Programme

Travel and Study Abroad

Academic

Housing and Residential Life

Social

Money

General

The Programme


What is ASE?

ASE is a study abroad programme with full-year, semester and summer school options for students from American universities and colleges. Students live and study in the world heritage city of Bath, England, and receive a top quality cultural and academic experience. First established in 1989, ASE has been a non-profit branch campus of Franklin and Marshall College since 2008. Franklin and Marshall College is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, a regional accrediting agency recognised by the US Department of Education.

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Who is eligible for the Programme?

Undergraduates from American colleges and universities in their sophomore, junior or senior years with a GPA of at least 3.0 are eligible for the Programme. ASE will consider positively applicants with a GPA slightly below 3.0 providing the transcript indicates work at a high level in those academic areas which correspond to the ASE curriculum.

Please see the How to Apply section on this website for further details and current application deadlines.

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What if I am a non-US citizen attending a US institution?

You may apply to the Programme, provided that you are enrolled in a degree seeking course of study at a US institution and you can demonstrate that you have competency in the English language. You will also need to obtain the appropriate visa to enable you to study in England.

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What if I am attending a non-US institution?

Students attending non-US institutions are not eligible for the Programme.

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What colleges have past ASE students come from?

For a full list of colleges and universities from which past ASE students have come, click here.

If you do not attend any of these institutions, you are still eligible for the Programme as long as you attend an American university or college and you have the approval of your study abroad office. Please contact ASE at admin@asebath.org if you have any queries.

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What are the privileges of being a Full Year student?

Full Year students receive priority enrolment in any course or Internship that ASE is offering in the Spring semester, the opportunity to take advantage of the Full Year Tutorial Programme (providing that your course-work has reached a satisfactory level of competence in the Autumn semester), and your choice of housing allocation for the Spring semester.

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What is the procedure on arrival day?

Members of ASE staff meet students at Bath Spa train station (which is next to the bus station) and transportation is provided for you and your luggage to your housing. You are given a phone card and a card with ASE contact details in your pre-arrival package. In your pre-arrival information, we request that you mail us a passport sized photo of yourself, so don't be surprised if someone calls out your name - we will be looking for you! In the afternoon, a member of staff will give you an orientation of your house, and instructions on how to use appliances - including the cooker, washing machine, and dryer. A welcome pack of food is provided for each house and flat. We recommend that you try and stay up until 9pm to acclimatize to the time shift. The following morning, a member of staff will walk you from your house to a gathering for a "Welcome Address" from the ASE Director, where you will meet the entire staff and your fellow students.

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What kind of orientation will I receive?

ASE provides an intensive orientation week before classes begin, to help introduce you to Bath and to British culture. You will receive the orientation week timetable on arrival day. Activities include sessions with each member of staff to describe their roles, an introduction to the academic and social / cultural programmes, a shopping tour of Bath, opportunities for Internship and Education students to visit their placements, diagnostic tests for each course selected, and an evening reception to introduce you to your tutors. The culmination of orientation week is a trip to Stonehenge, Salisbury and Lacock.

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How many students are there per semester/summer?

ASE has a typical intake of 50-55 students per semester and 35 students in the summer.

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Travel and Study Abroad

Do I need a visa?

Please see the Visa Information page.

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How do I get to Bath from the US?

We cannot give precise information on the cheapest trans-Atlantic flights because costs are frequently revised. We advise you to consult your local travel agent and/or student travel agent for details and bargains. The following general advice may prove useful:

  1. Book early: 6-8 weeks in advance to guarantee a reasonably priced flight
  2. Direct services are usually the cheapest fares: major US city to London
  3. Obtain and compare quotes for round-trip flights into Bristol (Continental Airlines have a direct flight into Bristol, departing from Newark, NJ), Heathrow and Gatwick Airports.
  4. Virgin Atlantic offers competitive student rates flying out of JFK, Newark and DC
  5. Flying out of Toronto is often less expensive than US cities
  6. STA TRAVEL and CAMPUS TRAVEL both deal with student fares
  7. Bristol is the nearest airport to Bath (30 kms - 1 hour appx), followed by Heathrow (140 kms - 3 hrs appx), then Gatwick (180 kms - 4 hrs appx).

Though ASE does not endorse and can take no responsibility for dealings with the following companies, past students have booked their flights from the US through STA Travel, Student Universe, Cheapflights.com, Obitz.com, and Travelocity.com.

You should arrive in the UK - at Heathrow or Gatwick Airport, London, or in Bristol - on or before the morning of arrival day, and travel to Bath by train or bus. You may wish to buy a Young Person's Rail Card or Student Discount Coach Card as you are likely to use them throughout the semester. For prices, times, and information on Discount Cards, please visit www.firstgreatwestern.co.uk for the train and www.nationalexpress.com for the bus. Students will receive detailed instructions on getting from London or Bristol to Bath in their final mailing packets, which will be sent a month before arrival.

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Do I need an ISIC card?

Though ASE does not require that you have one, you may wish to obtain an International Student Identity Card (ISIC). You can purchase these in either the US or UK at most universities or Student Travel Agencies relatively inexpensively. An ISIC Card entitles you to reduced price entrance fees to museums, historical sites, theatre tickets, as well as airline and train tickets. It can also provide you with health insurance whilst you are abroad. Some US institutions may require that you get an ISIC card to study abroad, so check with your institution's Study Abroad Office to ascertain their requirements.

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What kind of insurance do I need (e.g. Medical)?

You must check before leaving the US that your USA medical insurance gives you full medical and accident coverage for the UK and any other country you may visit during your time abroad. You are required to state the name of your insurance company and your policy number on the pre-arrival forms (Medical Insurance Disclaimer Form). While it is not required, we recommend that you check to see that your insurance covers medical evacuation and repatriation. For your records and your own peace of mind, we also recommend that you get a letter or statement from your insurance company in writing which outlines your coverage, deductibles, billing and repayment procedures while abroad. You should also obtain insurance to cover the loss of personal possessions.

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What kind of medical care will be available for me?

ASE students are able to use the medical facility of a general practice based in Bath. In the event of illness you may make an appointment with the doctor on duty, or during office hours a member of the ASE staff will make an appointment for you. There is also an emergency or night-number. There is a charge for each consultation with a doctor (of approx £45), and an additional charge (of about £17) for any medicines prescribed and any referral to a hospital or specialist for further treatment. Please be assured that throughout the UK, treatment for serious accidents or emergencies is given without checking insurance cover, although a bill may be presented for payment later.

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How much time will I have free to travel?

Classes are held Monday to Thursday, with course specific study trips on some Fridays and Saturdays. The whole-programme travels to Oxford for a full week, including one weekend. Other than this, most weekends are free for course work (expect plenty of reading and preparation) and independent travel. We recommend domestic travel at the weekends, and international travel in the one week mid-semester break, and/or before or after the semester. After your arrival, ASE's Associate Dean of Students can advise you on independent travel in the UK and on the European Continent.

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Academic

What is the Oxford connection?

Since 1989, Advanced Studies in England has enjoyed ongoing academic ties with University College, Oxford University. Fellows and other senior members of the College are often among the faculty teaching weekly seminar courses and tutorials at ASE. In addition, for one week each semester, the ASE Programme moves to Oxford where students live and have their classes at University College, including lectures by Senior Fellows on the history of the College and the city of Oxford. ASE's Academic Adviser is Dr. Christopher Pelling, Regius Professor of Greek at Oxford University.
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How will my credits transfer?

ASE recommends 16 credits for a semester, which can be made up in any one of four ways. See the Curriculum Outline for details. Each course and placement is designed to meet rigorous academic standards. However, the number of credits you receive and whether or not the courses count toward your major (or as electives) is at the discretion of your home institution. Most institutions require pre-approval for courses before you leave the US. Check with your home institution's Study Abroad Office for pre-departure requirements. Credits are recorded on a transcript issued by Franklin and Marshall College.

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What is the class schedule like?

Classes are held Monday to Thursday, each seminar and tutorial class meeting once a week for two hours. You will not take more than two classes on the same day. Internships involve a total of 120 hours in the placement, spread over the 15 weeks of the semester, plus brief weekly meetings with the Internship tutor. Education students spend a day a week in their school placement, and also have brief weekly meetings with their Placement tutor; the Education in England course meets for two hours per week.

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How many students are there in each class?

The maximum number of students in a class is 13 during the semester, 12 for the summer school Seminar Courses, and 15 for summer school Core Courses.

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What classes are offered?

ASE offers a broad curriculum in the Arts and Humanities. Click here for a full list of courses.

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What kind of Internet access does the programme have?

All ASE houses are equipped with wireless Internet access, and there are 12 student computers in the Nelson House study centre, each with Internet access. Whilst in Oxford, ASE students have access to 2 computers with Internet access in the Junior Common Room. There are also numerous Internet cafes and hotspots nearby.

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Will I need a laptop?

Laptops are not essential, but in addition to 12 computers with printers, Nelson House offers seven network points for laptop users. Students are increasingly choosing to bring laptops for 24 hour internet access (the Study Centre closes at midnight each night). Should you opt to bring a laptop, you MUST make sure you have a converter for British outlets. These can be found in stores such as Radio Shack, Circuit City and Best Buy in the US, or at airports. In the UK, you can try Dixons or Curry's. Please note that laptops are the only American "appliances" that you are allowed to use in your ASE properties, as power converters come with no guarantee and are a possible safety hazard.

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Housing and Residential Life

What are the properties like?

ASE students live in handsome historic town houses and flats throughout the centre of Bath. For more details on ASE housing, see the Housing pages.

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How are meals provided for?

Accommodation is self-catering, which means that students will be expected to cook for themselves. A meal allowance (currently £40 per week) is included in the Programme fees and should be sufficient to cover meal costs, provided students shop and cook economically.

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What facilities are available in each house?

Each house is fully equipped with modern conveniences: wireless internet access, a telephone, TV, dvd and video, digital radio, a washer, dryer, refrigerator, and oven. The kitchens are equipped with a microwave, pots, pans, dishes and utensils. Students are given an orientation to their individual properties on the first night so that they know how to work all of the appliances and learn the ins and outs of their house and neighbourhood.

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What kind of telephone access will I have?

Each house has a telephone line. You may make local calls, but you will need a phone card to make long distance and international calls and calls to mobile phones. ASE will send a £5 calling card in your final mailing so that you may contact us with any problems on arrival day and call your parents to let them know that you have arrived safely. Calling cards may be purchased at many UK stores, but some past students have found that the best deal is the calling cards on sale at the Post Office.

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How is housing assigned?

A housing form, along with other pre-arrival information, is mailed to you after you are accepted on to the Programme. The form is a questionnaire used to give us some idea of your personality and lifestyle. This form is confidential and is used by the ASE staff to make a thoughtful and appropriate allocation of roommates and properties.

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What dates may I occupy my ASE residence?

We regret that ASE cannot allow students into the ASE properties before arrival day. We are, however, happy to put you in touch with the local hostel or a B&B if you plan to arrive earlier. Students must vacate the ASE properties by the Saturday following the last day of Final Exams (Thursday). Full year students may store their belongings in ASE accommodations over Winter Break, but must find alternate accommodations during the period of office closure as the properties are closed for cleaning at that time. We find that full year students tend either to return home at Christmas, or use the time to travel within Europe.

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Do American appliances work in the UK?

No. Power plugs and voltage are different from the US in the UK. Power converters come with no guarantee and are a possible safety hazard. ASE staff are happy to give advice on the purchase of inexpensive appliances such as hair dryers and alarm clocks on request.

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How far will I be from my classes?

The ASE properties are all within walking distance from the Nelson House and Linley House seminar rooms, where all ASE classes are held. Whilst in Oxford, students live in study bedrooms and have classes in seminar rooms at University College, Oxford University.

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What type of furnishings are provided? Do I need towels or sheets?

ASE provides bed linen and comforters. You will, however, need to bring or buy your own towels.

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How will I do my laundry?

Each property is equipped with a washer and dryer. You will need to supply your own detergent. A member of ASE staff will explain how to use the machines (yes, they are a little different from the US!) at each property on arrival day and advise you on what kind of detergent to use. There are also commercial Laundromats nearby, with big American-style washers and dryers and dry cleaners if you need them.

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Social

What kind of gym/sports facilities are available to me?

Whatever your level of interest in sport - whether you like merely to spectate, to keep fit at the gym, enjoy the occasional jog, or want to play competitive sport while you're abroad - Bath is an ideal place to be based. The city is blessed with some of the best indoor and outdoor facilities anywhere in the British Isles.

The Sports Training Village, located on the University of Bath campus - so you can get up there with your free bus pass - is a Centre of Excellence for Sports, and offers first class facilities. These include a 50 metre swimming pool, indoor tennis courts, indoor and outdoor athletics tracks, a large sports hall (for basketball, badminton etc) and a state-of-the-art Fitness and Conditioning Suite. All of these can be used at discounted rates by students. The City Sports Centre - conveniently located a short walk from Nelson House - has a family pool, a fitness centre, and badminton and squash courts. A discounted membership fee gives ASE students access to these facilities, as well as to free classes, such as yoga, kick-boxing and pilates.

Living throughout the city as they do, ASE students are also well-placed to take advantage of the many parks and open spaces that exist in Bath. Casual games of soccer and ultimate frisbee are often organized in Victoria Park, with the Royal Crescent as a picturesque backdrop. Many students also jog along the many miles of towpath that run beside the river, or by the pretty canal that stretches through the city.

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What type of social support does ASE provide?

Because ASE is a small, focused programme, the staff can provide a great amount of personal attention. The "open door" policy means that students can come to any member of staff with questions, concerns or just to chat. Each student is assigned a member of staff as their mentor. They meet their students at the beginning and in the middle of the semester to touch base, and provide support or advice throughout the semester. In addition to this, if the need arises, ASE can put students in touch with professionals within the Bath community who offer counselling and confidential advice.

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How will I interact with British students?

Bath is a town for students, with approximately 15% (15,000) of the population in higher education. While ASE students do not share classes with British students, they naturally meet their British counterparts as they explore the many pubs, nightclubs and cafes that cater to students. In addition, our small team of British student helpers are on hand to help you get involved in the social, cultural, musical and religious life of the university. There are further opportunities to mix with British students by joining clubs and societies, by taking extracurricular classes or through volunteer work.

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How will I interact with the Bath community?

The city of Bath's cultural wealth and compact size make it an ideal place to live, and to mix on a daily basis with British people of different ages. The fact that all ASE properties are self-catering encourages students to make the most of their local shops and amenities, and to feel like residents in their neighbourhoods. Those students who opt for the Education Programme assistant teach in local schools, while those taking an Internship will work alongside local people on their placement.

ASE has further strong links with numerous volunteering agencies, and helps individual students with particular interests to find the volunteer work best suited to their needs. These include the Bath Cats and Dogs Home where students can walk dogs, cuddle cats, work in the shop or in the office; Julian House, a homeless shelter where volunteers work in a variety of halfway homes and meet co-workers and volunteers as well as the homeless; and the Royal United Hospital.

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Money

What do the fees include?

The fees include: full tuition and administrative costs; accommodation in Bath; Oxford and Stratford-upon-Avon; a meal allowance (accommodation in Bath is self-catering); all compulsory course-related travel; all visits to theatres, galleries, museums etc., related to the Programme; Day Trips to remote and beautiful areas of the UK; and local travel bus passes.

Supplementary fees are charged for all tutorials. These fees are payable after course registration in Bath.

Fees do not include: travel to and from the USA and Bath; £100 refundable damage deposit; the cost of visa applications; medical and dental care; course books.

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Does financial aid apply?

ASE will accept financial aid, but this must be worked out through your home institution. Please see the Study Abroad Office and Financial Aid Office at your home institution for advice on the release of financial aid for the purpose of study abroad. The Scholarships and Financial Aid section of this Website has more details.

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Are there any scholarships?

Yes. ASE awards scholarships on a semester or annual basis. See the Scholarships and Financial Aid section of this Website for more details. In addition, your home institution may offer scholarships: see your own Study Abroad Office for more details.

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How much money will I need?

Students are advised to make a weekly allowance of at least £55 to cover personal expenditure. This figure is only a guideline based on the average student: you may find that you require more or less, based on your personal needs. The ASE fee includes a considerable amount of travel within Britain, through residentials in Oxford and Stratford-upon-Avon, course-specific trips and the social programme. Apart from personal spending money, students will not need extra funding for these trips. If you wish to travel further in Britain or Europe before, during or after the semester, you will, of course, require additional funds. The ASE fee also includes a weekly meal allowance, usually quite adequate if students share shopping and cooking. For those whose taste in food requires it, additional funds will be needed for eating out.

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What is the best way to bring money?

Travellers Cheques are usually the easiest and safest way to bring money. Most US banks have Travellers Cheques in British pounds sterling which you can buy at the current exchange rate with American dollars. You may exchange American dollars and American Traveller's Cheques in UK at many locations, but Marks and Spencer offers competitive exchange rates commission free.

Students increasingly use debit cards to withdraw funds from US accounts, or credit cards to pay directly. You should do careful research with each individual card before you leave the US to see which has the best foreign currency conversion rate as each bank issuing a credit card charges a different percentage.

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Can I open a bank account?

Unfortunately, British banks do not offer accounts to visiting students. To access money from home whilst in Bath, you will need to have a home checking account. If you have a checking account (ATMs here do not read savings accounts from the US) with a Cirrus-compatible ATM card and a 4 digit PIN, you can access your money directly throughout the UK and most of Europe. Check with your bank at home about accessibility and withdrawal charges and limits.

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General

How will I receive mail and packages?

Letters and postcards can be sent to your ASE residence. Parcels or items that need to be signed for should be addressed to you c/o Advanced Studies in England, Nelson House, 2 Pierrepont Street, Bath, BA1 1LB, England as we will be able to accept delivery of them on your behalf. Please check your pre-arrival information booklet that was sent with your acceptance package for more information.

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What's the best way to call home?

Each house has a telephone line. You may make local calls, but you will need a phone card to make long distance and international calls and calls to mobile phones. ASE will send a £5 calling card in your final mailing so that you may contact us with any problems on arrival day and may call your parents to let them know that you have arrived safely. Calling cards may be purchased at many UK stores, but past students have found that the best deal is the calling cards on sale at the Post Office. If you choose to get a mobile phone whilst you are in the UK, Orange or Vodaphone shops offer "pay-as-you go" plans.

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How big is Bath?

Bath has a population of 100,000, approximately 15% of whom are in higher education. Crossing the city is an easy and fun walk surrounded by shops, pubs, cafes, galleries, the River Avon, several parks, and various architectural wonders.

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What should I bring?

Pack light, and remember that you will have to carry everything you bring without assistance! Students generally regret bringing too much. Practice walking around with all of it before you leave for the airport to see if you can manage. Essential clothing to bring includes: a waterproof coat, comfortable walking shoes, and suitable clothing for formal ASE events. Layers are a good idea for the winter months. Other suggested items: a warm winter coat or jacket; gloves, hat and scarf; long underwear; jeans, flannel shirts, sweaters; hiking boots/shoes; warm pyjamas; a Guide Book (Let's Go / Lonely Planet / Rough Guide Series recommended); a camera; cosmetics (US brands are expensive in the UK); a back pack; a medium sized bag for weekend travel; and a travel alarm clock.

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What is the weather like?

The seasons are very much as they are on the north east coast of the US, though the fluctuations in weather conditions tend to be less extreme. The average temperature in the winter is about 37-48°F/2-8°C and the average temperature in the summer about 55-70°F/12-21°C. Believe the reputation; it does rain often, but it can go from sunny to rainy and back again very quickly. Layering is the name of the game for clothing and rain gear is essential.

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