Jordan Jeffers

Jordan Jeffers (above) and
Sneh Rajbhandari

Sneh Rajbhandari

Two Students Chosen for Oxford Program

March 13, 2007

BLOOMINGTON, Ill. – Two Illinois Wesleyan students have been chosen to study abroad at Oxford University.  Sophomores Sneh Rajbhandari and Jordan Jeffers will spend the 2007-2008 school year studying in England, as part of the Pembroke College Visiting Students Programme.

“These are both high-achieving students who are accomplished in many areas,” said Stacey Shimizu, acting director of the Illinois Wesleyan International Office.  “They are self-directed, which will serve them well in the intense Oxford environment.”  

“I know at Pembroke a lot of it is going to have to come from me,” said Rajbhandari, who will study comparative politics of advanced nations and developing nations of Southeast Asia. “I’m interested to see how quickly I can adapt to everything from the campus to the different food,” she added.

Rajbhandari, who came to Illinois Welseyan from Kathmandu, Nepal, is accustomed to travel around Asia, but has never been to England. She is considered a study abroad student at IWU. “I came to Illinois Wesleyan to see political ideology from an American outlook,” said Rajbhandari. “In England, I hope to learn more of the British-centric and colonial history. People tease me that I will be studying abroad twice over.” 

A political science and business administration major, Rajbhandari is a member of the Dean’s List, the Phi Eta Sigma Honor Society and the Model UN.  She is a residential assistant at Illinois Wesleyan, treasurer of the South Asian Students’ Association, and vice president of the International Society. She will travel to China this summer with the ASIANetwork, based at Illinois Wesleyan.

Jeffers, a native of Rochester, Ill., said he looks forward to the year in England. “I’m planning on being a writer,” said the English major, “and the main teaching tool Pembroke uses is the tutor system. As opposed to attending classes, students write papers and meet with a tutor once or twice a week.” Jeffers believes this format will be good training for working with editors later in his career.  “I hope to mature as a writer.”

A member of the Illinois Wesleyan track team, Jeffers also hopes to join the track team at Pembroke. “If I get on the team that competes with other schools, I could see more of the country as well,” he said. Visiting students at Pembroke enjoy the full Oxford experience, including in-college accommodations and access to the full range of sporting and social clubs.

Jeffers is a winner of a National Merit Scholarship, the Robert Evans Scholarship, an Illinois Wesleyan Alumni Scholarship and was named an IWU 2006 Track Newcomer of the Year.  He has written for the Illinois Wesleyan student newspaper, The Argus, and has had several works published in Tributaries, the IWU literary magazine.

Illinois Wesleyan students have been traveling to Pembroke College since 1997. Each year, students from a select group of U.S. colleges and universities travel to England to study at Pembroke as part of the Visiting Students Programme. Other schools involved include Brown, Bryn Mawr, Boston College, Columbia, Cornell, Duke, Georgetown and the University of Pennsylvania.

Pembroke College is one of 32 colleges that make up Oxford University in Oxford, England. Oxford is the oldest English-speaking university in the world, with a prestigious reputation coinciding with a rich history and tradition spanning over eight centuries. Pembroke, founded in 1624, admits approximately 100 undergraduates each year from schools throughout Great Britain, with a small number of students accepted from overseas.

Contact: Sherry Wallace, (309) 556-3792