Big demand for England


by Becka Neary

More than 40 students have been denied participation in the London semester-abroad program. With the large response from the student body this year, many are beginning to think the program should be offered every year, or the number of participants should be increased.

“I think it would be a good opportunity to allow [the London semester-abroad program] every year,” junior Ellie Ankeny said. “In my time at Simpson, there have been two choices of programs to London: management and sociology.”

Faculty members Fred and Julie Jones will be leading the trip in the fall of 2005. Both Fred and Julie led the London semester program in 1999.

For Professor of Management Marilyn Mueller, who was the faculty adviser for the last trip to London, the reasons for a small group are understandable.

“There are physical space limitations, and the logistics make it a bit more manageable with a smaller group,” Mueller said.

The hostel that the students live in for three months has just 35 beds, and the classroom can only hold 25 people.

“When I went to Nicaragua, at times even 15 was a lot of people to get into restaurants,” Ankeny said. “Having a trip every year would make group travel easier.”

The registration for the London program was cut off at 45 students. There are 25 students on the official list of accepted participants. An additional 19 students are on a waiting list, hoping for somebody to change their mind so they can take their spot on the official list.

Junior Laura Spain was already on the list when she decided not to go.

“Semester abroad is the greatest experience you can do while you are in college, it’s the most fun you will ever have,” Spain said. “There are all these people are on the list – I have already studied abroad and it’s something everyone should experience.

Some of the factors that help determine eligibility for the trip are academic year, the faculty letter of recommendation and grade point average.

“I believe [the deciding factor] is age, and right now it is predominantly those that will be seniors and juniors next year,” Ankeny said. “There are two sophomores on the list.”

In order to prepare participants for their semester in England, there will be sessions held in the spring semester.

The curriculum is made up of classes that can fulfill a Cornerstone perspective.

“I really tried to have a set of courses that fit Cornerstones and took advantage of being in London,” Mueller said.

The trip will include many hands-on trips to museums, galleries and historical sights, as well as long weekends for travel.