Christine Wintersteen

We had been hesitant to include the Advanced Studies in Bath program on our Approved Options List because, traditionally, the only option for students who wished to study in the UK was directly at a British university. While there is great value in experiencing a distinct academic culture and immersing oneself alongside locals in the classroom, there is also value in a study abroad program facilitating academic study both inside and outside of the classroom for students that want to fully immerse themselves in academic learning at a high level. Just as a field-based biology program attracts like-minded students, the ASE program attracts like-minded students in the humanities and social sciences who are have chosen their program based on the academic content.

After speaking to colleagues at peer institutions who shared very positive feedback about the academics of this program, we ultimately included the ASE program as an option for Bowdoin students. We are now in our third year of sending students and they haven’t been disappointed.

Students provide consistently excellent evaluations to the academic content and methodology and demonstrate an academic engagement that one hopes for in a study abroad experience. The students’ academic satisfaction is slowly reaching faculty ears and provide a nice retort for those that sometimes equate study abroad as an academic vacation….ASE is clearly not.

Emily Pinette

"Studying abroad with ASE was the best decision I've ever made. The experience was life-changing! The classes were challenging and interesting, and taught by professionals who were easily approachable. Outside of class, there was always something going on, from my volunteer placement at the local animal shelter, to going out with my flatmates, to just taking in the beauty of Bath. I also knew I could go to the staff for absolutely anything. I have come to view Bath as my home."

Madeline Greathouse

I think it was the first weekend I was in Bath that I realized I had made the right choice of study abroad programs. Never having been on a train before, let alone in England, I spent my first free Saturday traveling two hours to the Southern coast of the country in order to visit the home and museum of my favorite author Agatha Christie. It was an amazing excursion, however, I enjoyed it a bit too much and missed my train back to Bath.

Traveling alone and stranded in a small train station past sundown was nerve wracking so I jumped on the first train going North. It took me four hours to get to Bath; during that time I called my mom in panic twice, but as she could do nothing, I ended up reaching out to strangers on the trains. These friendly people did not just answer my questions and help me find the best stops to switch cars, but they also could tell I was nervous and distracted me with great conversations.
I called my parents about midnight as I was pulling into the Bath train station; I casually described my chaotic journey home.

It was the moment I said "home" that I knew I was on the right program. Within the short amount of time I had been in England, I had a regular coffee shop and knew the owner by name, and found family in my housemates at 29 Northampton.

ASE provided me with the foundation for an amazing experience, but the community of Bath, the staff at ASE, and my fellow students were what made the experience one of the best I have had as a college student.

Emma Richardson

Truly, no place has captured my heart quite like Bath. I still think about the spires of the Abbey, the unparalleled architecture, and the green door of Nelson House every day. I chose ASE because I wanted an abroad experience that enveloped me into the place, rather than feeling like a tourist for a semester. ASE delivered on this expectation in every way. I got to take classes I never would on my own college campus, made wonderful lifelong friends, and ultimately found a new place to call home.

Beth and Jordan Posner, parents of Halley (Au16, Bates College)

We can not begin to say enough about this fantastic abroad program. Having sent two older children abroad we are keenly aware of the challenges with having a child study away in a foreign country for a semester. And yet because of the mission and goals of ASE, Halley's adjustment to life both in and out of the classroom was smooth.

When friends ask us about this program, we liken it to a small college- with strong academics, great small classes and the tools students need to succeed abroad. From the tutors, to the comprehensive levels of administrators, students are supported in all of their endeavors.

The class trips are fun and an extremely valuable adjunct to classroom time. The program trips add dimension to the experience and allow the students to get to know each other and become a cohesive group. By living in flats students learn the city intimately and become a part of it!

What a treat to send our daughter to a program where she was challenged both academically and culturally. This experience far exceeded her expectations of a study abroad program and ours too! Every picture we saw of Halley sported a very wide, genuine smile!

Thank you all very much for your dedication to this excellent, enriching program and to the students. We can not rave enough!

Tamara Goeglein

I have been a passionate advocate of Advanced Studies in England since 1989, when I met Donald Nunes during my first year in the English Department at Franklin & Marshall College. Now, twenty-six years later, my passion for ASE has taken on a life of its own. I have served on the ASE board, and I taught a Shakespeare course in the 2007 ASE summer school program. My family joined me in Bath while I taught this course: we lived in Nunes house and enjoying the several cultural excursions to Cornwall via Tintagel, Glastonbury, and Oxford. The professional staff was welcoming to all of us, and my teaching experience is a highlight of my professional life. I took my Shakespeare students to Stratford-Upon-Avon for a weekend of plays and visits to the Shakespeare properties.

The deliberate, thoughtful blending of classroom instruction with relevant cultural experience and field-trips is what makes ASE so special. I am happy to report that one of my own children will be studying at ASE in the 2015 Autumn term! I’m sure Don Nunes would be delighted!

Dr. Amanda E. Herbert

The ASE program is really unlike other study abroad programs, in the best of ways. It captures the essence of an American liberal arts education -- lots of personal attention, rigorous academics, small class sizes, the chance for faculty and students to work together closely on innovative projects -- and brings them abroad.

At ASE, students, faculty, and staff all share the same vision of education, and they work together and support one another. That kind of unity of purpose and belief in the mission is really unprecedented in study abroad programs, and it makes ASE a wonderful place to work and to learn.

John Hunter

What makes ASE stand out as an academic program is the care the staff takes to integrate American students into British life in a setting (Bath) which is so much more accessible and comprehensible than London. Too many study abroad programs cocoon their students with other Americans, but it shouldn't be like that and (as ASE wonderfully shows) it doesn't have to be like that. Students leave ASE with a sense not only of life in the UK, but also of the specific place of Bath and the West Country in that national life.

Everything about the program is well-organized and accessible; I have led several of my own study abroad programs over the years, and I consider ASE a role model for how to do it right.

I also have to say that being surrounded by beauty is a great spur to doing good academic work, and Bath and the surrounding countryside never fail to inspire me.

Sarah Krejci

The semester I spent abroad through ASE was nothing sort of incredible. Prior to that time I had never traveled abroad nor had I been on a trip for such an extended period of time. While somewhat nervous at first, I quickly adjusted thanks to the warm and welcoming members of the ASE family. My time there surpassed any prior expectations I had when I first decided to study abroad. ASE provided us with the opportunity to really take in our surroundings and participate in the community in which we were living. We were given a quality education and were held to high academic standards. Our lessons in the classroom were further enhanced by study trips, internships and every day life spent in a city rich with history and culture. ASE provided me with a greater appreciation for other cultures and their differences. That semester abroad allowed me to grow personally and intellectually, which helped mold me into the person that I am today.

It is hard to pinpoint the most meaningful part of the ASE experience because there are so many, but being in a program where the faculty and staff actually care about you as a person and don’t just see you as a number certainly means a lot. Everyone at ASE knew us by name and they did their best to make us feel welcome and at home. It was incredibly reassuring to have such wonderful support system and looking back that has to be one of the top most meaningful things to me about ASE.

Maria Mitchell

Advanced Studies in England stands out among study abroad programs. ASE’s academic profile, especially its relationship with Oxford University; its internship opportunities; and its stunning location distinguish it from other undergraduate programs. I encourage all my students to apply, knowing that they will return, as have hundreds of F&M ASE students before them, raving about ASE.

At ASE, students pursue a high-quality academic education while exploring English life through integrative cultural activities. The tutorials, typically taught in Oxford by Oxford University staff, offer students the experience of a British university education, as does the week-long stay at Oxford University. The robust internship program with some two dozen possible internships is uniquely appealing, as is the education program that places students in British classrooms. By taking advantage of such opportunities to integrate into English life, students have a true study abroad experience, one that enriches their understanding of their own culture as well as that of the British. Bath itself is gorgeous. I cannot imagine a more beautiful place to study abroad. It’s also accessible; unlike a million-person metropolis, the city of Bath lies outside your door, ready to be discovered. As a city of students, Bath is perfectly suited for undergraduates. Students don’t get lost in Bath, but they are also never bored in a city offering the ideal balance between lively and livable.

Finally, ASE would not work were it not for the tremendously talented staff. Each and every person associated with ASE carries on the spirit of its founder, Dr. Don Nunes – curious, caring, generous, helpful, and open to the world. In 2014, the program’s twenty-fifth anniversary celebration brought together generations of ASE alumni, all of whom testified to the impact of the program on their lives and their devotion to the staff. ASE is like no other study abroad program I know. I would recommend it to everyone.