Exchange Spotlight: Bath Spa University

Published on Nov 24, 2015

By Neal Steichen (MFA '17)

Starting in 2011, Columbia College Chicago’s exchange program with Bath Spa University in England has quickly become one of the most popular international programs that our school has to offer. With an impressive writing program and a growing environment for film students, it is hard to see why anyone wouldn’t want to go to Bath.

We spoke to Senior Associate of International Programs, Alex Riepl, about studying abroad in one of the United Kingdom’s most famous cities.

What’s unique about Bath Spa University? Why is it a great place for CCC students to spend a semester?
Bath Spa is located in a small, beautiful, historic city in southern England. The campus is in an almost rural setting with cows outside your dorm room, so it offers a vastly different experience from Chicago or London. Bath is a great partner institution, since they are about the same size as CCC and offer our students the same attention. 

What you can study at Bath Spa University

What are some common misconceptions students at CCC have about studying abroad?
The biggest misconception has to be that you can't both study abroad and graduate on time. Actually, you can do this easily. Students can get credits abroad to use for Liberal Arts and Sciences, core requirements, and electives, just as you could by staying here. All that it takes us a little planning

The second is that studying abroad is very expensive. There are extra costs, such as a flight, but a semester abroad need not be more costly than a semester here. If you go on a Columbia exchange though, like Bath, the tuition cost is the same as it is here. You can also use all your same financial aid including Columbia scholarships. There are also extra scholarships available for Pell grant recipients, students from diverse backgrounds, and students going to non-traditional locations. 

Bath Spa University Campus

How will studying abroad prepare them for a more competitive job after college?
Studying abroad is much more than a fun trip to somewhere new. It is a unique chance to grow as you experience new things and challenges. I would stress that study abroad is what you make of it. It can be used to give you a new take on your field and on your art and craft. Use it to take classes that you would not be able to take here, and open yourself up to new perspectives and methods.

Want a student's perspective? Check out what Allie Rodriguez ('16) did during her time at Bath Spa! 

Check out the International Programs page for more information, explore additional opportunities, and to schedule an appointment to start planning your next adventure!