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.

Judith C. Mueller

When I have students interested in studying in the UK, I always encourage them to check out ASE. Simply put, it’s a wonderful program. Its relationship with Oxford affords students opportunities and connections with faculty that are rare in other study abroad programs. Jonathan and his staff have developed impressive resources for student research. What’s more, they make available a range of interesting internships in for our students in Bath, affording both cultural immersion and valuable work experience. The course offerings are always enticing and take full advantage of the program’s location in that splendid city.

ASE’s staff is a pleasure to work with. When I visited a few years ago, I was impressed and touched by their devotion to making ASE the best program of its kind.

When my students return from ASE, they positively glow with gratitude for the experience. They praise the staff and effuse about tutorials at Oxford, field trips to historic sites, and a wonderful community of students with whom they form fast friendships.

ASE is a gem in the study-abroad landscape.

Daniel A. Nathan

I taught an ASE summer seminar in 2011 and it was a terrific learning experience, for me and more importantly for my students. The program was well organized and thoughtful, and the ASE staff was knowledgeable and professional, gracious and supportive. My course was about sport in a global context and without question one of the highlights was the field trip my students and I took to Wimbledon, the oldest (and most prestigious) tennis tournament in the world. Being at an icon mega-event, up close and personal, was exciting, fun, and certainly educational, on many levels. (Even the queue was a good time.) For most of us, it was an once-in-a-lifetime experience. The same could be said of living and learning in Bath, with its wide array of sights and resources. I have been fortunate to stay in touch with several of my ASE students (who are thriving) and we all agree that our time in Bath enriched us in myriad ways. Thank you, ASE.

Dawn Rainbolt

ASE was hands-down my favourite semester of undergrad. Not only did I fall in love with Bath, but I also discovered and fell in love with several things that shape my goals, passions, studies, career and life choices today.

Namely, it was here that I first discovered travel, and first developed my passion for European art, history, culture and cuisine. It was here that I became independent and adventurous. It was in Bath that I had my first tourism jobs (tour guide at Bath Abbey and intern at the Holburne Museum), and in Bath that I first discovered photography as an art form—and where I wrote my first travel blog post.

In effect, ASE not only constituted a “fun semester abroad,” but it shaped me into the person I am today. Without ASE, I doubt I’d have been brave enough to try to realise my dreams—in fact, I’m not sure I’d have the same dreams! One day, I hope to move back to the UK (though this will have to wait a few years until I get my French citizenship) because 5 months here was not enough. Some of my closest friends were made in connection with ASE—in fact, I recently visited one who just immigrated to England and two other ASE friends are visiting me in France this summer!

While I realise not everyone dreams to become a permanent expat, a semester spent at ASE will give you unforgettable experiences, it will teach you more than you ever learned in uni, it will give you access to travel the world’s most beautiful continent, and in addition, the classes were some of the most interesting I’ve ever taken. I would not be on my current path of living abroad, studying in France, or writing for a travel association if I did not study abroad.

I will always hold my semester abroad with ASE (not to mention the city of Bath) very dear to my heart.

Madeline Raynor

I chose to study abroad with ASE because it takes academics seriously, and I was not disappointed. The classes were just the right level of difficulty. I enjoyed taking the Jane Austen class and immersing myself in Jane Austen. For class, we visited the Jane Austen House Museum in Chawton and her grave in Winchester Cathedral, and I independently went back to Winchester to see her house, went to all the places she wrote about in Bath, and even visited Lyme-Regis.

I loved the city of Bath. It’s just the right size so that I felt like I really got to know it and felt like I really lived there. There was always something to do, whether it be walking parts of the Skyline trail, going to museums, or reading in the sun in the Parade Grounds. It’s incredibly convenient to travel by train: I would often go to London to see theater and museums, and I made several train journeys into Wales to see castles. For spring break, I went with a group of students to Italy and Greece to take in the rich tradition of art and architecture. The ASE programs and trips were great: nothing can top visiting Oxford and staying in one of the Colleges.

My internship at Mr. B’s Emporium of Reading Delights was one of my favorite parts. This is where I learned the most about the locals, not to mention contemporary British literature. ASE was a wonderful, happy, stimulating experience for me. Because of ASE, I formed a lifelong obsession with all things British.

Warren Rochelle

All right.
What do I think is significant and special about ASE as a program?

ASE is in Bath, for starters: a beautiful, friendly city in which I have felt at home each time I taught there, in 2007 and 2013. I miss being there and walking its streets, tea at the Pump Room, gelato across the street from Nelson House, walking by the river, Tibetan food in that little place down below (Yak Yeti?), tea at a bookstore as I browse, going to church at the Abbey, afternoon tea at the Abbey Hotel, the Roman Baths—I could go on and on.

I felt at home there.

I do believe I would kill for real English scones. I have been trying to make myself ever since. Mixed results, to say the least.

The ASE staff are just great folks. They made me feel welcome and at home from the very start. Sorry about losing that key, Peta! I hope the one I had made worked. They take care of you, student and staff.

The academics—not last or least by any means, are indeed significant and special. I wish I could have taken the Bath-centred classes. The study trips, particular for each class, add another layer of meaning and learning. I tell UMW students who are considering studying abroad to be sure they try to take something they cannot ever take at home, and ASE classes are just that. However, make no mistake: these courses are demanding and rigorous.

When students talk with me about studying abroad, ASE is always one of the programs I recommend. I tell them they will study and work hard, and they be in one of the UK’s loveliest and most interesting cities and will have the chance to see a good deal of an amazing country, a country that is the ancestral home of so many Americans. They will be part of a program that will be good for them and to them.

I tell them their lives will be changed.