On 2 October 2013, a group of Dartmouth College students began their 10-week custom programme at LSE. This annual programme goes back to the early 1990s when the first cohort of undergraduate students from Dartmouth came to LSE to expand the international dimensions of their current studies and enrich their experiences through immersion within LSE’s cosmopolitan environment.
Designated at Dartmouth as the ‘Foreign Study Program’ and organised by its Government Department, this autumn term custom programme focuses on international relations and comparative politics. There are at least two prerequisites at Dartmouth to qualify for the programme at LSE, and three course credits are offered by Dartmouth for successful completion of the LSE tour.
As part of the programme, Dartmouth students audit two lecture streams at LSE’s International Relations and Government Departments, with private seminars and tutorials organised alongside by the lead academics on each course. The current LSE lecture streams are ‘Strategic Aspects of International Relations’ and ‘Government, Politics, and Public Policy in the European Union’, with students afforded full access to the LSE Library – the largest social sciences library in the world – to conduct their research and independent study. Students are also encouraged to take full advantage of LSE’s numerous public lectures and guest talks.
Professor Christopher Coker of LSE’s International Relations Department, academic director of the programme, said that ‘The Dartmouth College students I have been teaching for 20 years now are among the best undergraduates I have taught – they are intellectually engaged and not shy of expressing their opinions. I am sure they gain too from coming to the world’s leading social science school, and some of them choose to come back to take a Master’s degree. I have personally tutored a number of these over the years, and it is good to keep contact with others as they progress through life.’
In addition to the LSE components, a separate stream of seminars is conducted across the entire 10 weeks by a Dartmouth professor who comes to LSE together with the student group, thus tailoring the overall academic experience to Dartmouth’s degree programme back home. ‘Dartmouth's study abroad program at LSE continues to be extremely popular with our students. Participants rave about the opportunity to spend a term immersed in study at LSE, which has crafted a unique educational program for us,’ said Dr Jeremy Horowitz, Assistant Professor of Government at Dartmouth.
‘We are very pleased with this long-term collaboration which allows Dartmouth students an opportunity to join the global debates at LSE and enrich their studies and experiences,’ said Yury Bikbaev, Director of LSE Custom Programmes. ‘And the collaboration is in fact very much mutually beneficial, allowing our academic and student community to add another set of perspectives from these participants, who may also consider further studies in universities like ours.’