Published: Aug 30, 2010
For 32 freshmen entering The University of Tampa this fall, packing for
their first year of college will include a passport and a map of the
An opportunity usually reserved for
upperclassmen, study abroad is now available for select first-semester
students at UT. The 32 students will start their college careers at
Roehampton University in London this fall as part of the new UT Freshmen
The students in the program will participate in
a pre-departure orientation at UT. Then at Roehampton they will carry a
full load of classes, can participate in extracurricular activities,
will live in a single room in an American-style dormitory and will
participate online in one of UT’s freshman first-year transition
programs, Gateways or Pathways to Honors for students enrolled in the
Honors Program. Once in London participants will receive an Underground
pass and an international cell phone and will be eligible for excursions
Plus, the students will pay approximately the
same tuition and fees as if they were studying in Tampa. After the fall
semester abroad, the students will resume their studies at UT.
Kevin Beach, associate dean of the baccalaureate experience
said the program will offer students a unique college experience that
will benefit their future classroom experiences at UT. Beach, along with
another UT professor, will lead instruction of the Gateways and
Pathways to Honors programs utilizing instructional technology and a
"The program attracts students who are
independent, adventurous and who want to do something different than
what everyone else is doing,” Beach said. “And, the program instills a
lifelong appetite for intercultural experiences.”
Beach added that completing study abroad freshman year clears many of the obstacles students struggle with as upperclassmen.
get involved in a routine, they get involved in athletics, they get in
clubs and organizations or, they put it off for so long that they can't
fit it into their curriculum," he said.
He added that students
who complete similar programs at other universities often become campus
leaders and advocates for study abroad.
Gary Luter, director of UT’s Honors Program
and professor of speech, theatre and dance, said the freshman study
abroad experience will be rewarding, especially for Honors students who
elect to attend.
“Roehampton offers our Honors students
opportunities they could not have in Tampa, such as access to renowned
historic sites and world-class museums, galleries, theaters and more,”
Freshmen year abroad programs are distinctive, with
only a few universities offering them and less than 4 percent of U.S.
college students participating. UT joins such institutions as Arcadia
University, Syracuse University, Florida State University, University of
Mississippi, New York University and Plymouth State College in offering
such a program.
Dennis Nostrand, vice president for enrollment,
developed Arcadia University’s program in 2003. He said students who
show an interest in a college's freshmen study abroad programs are
significantly more likely to come to the college than students who do
At UT, students were screened for admission to the freshmen
abroad program. Only the top 20 percent of the entering class was
invited to apply, and students were only accepted to the study abroad
program after phone or in-person interviews.