Since fall of 1996, a select group of Illinois Wesleyan students has had the opportunity to study for the year at Pembroke College , Oxford University, as part of the Pembroke Visiting Student Program. Pembroke, with a total undergraduate enrollment of just over 400, accepts 40 visiting students annually from only 13 US colleges and universities. Among these schools are Barnard, Columbia, Brown, Penn, Cornell, Harvard, Bryn Mawr, Tufts, Duke, Georgetown, Vassar, and George Washington.
Students participating in the Pembroke Program experience the traditional English tutorial system, in which students meet, individually or in groups of 2-4, once or twice weekly with individual faculty members. In these tutorial sessions, the focus is on independent study and writing, and students are expected to be self-motivating and self-directing. Students are also expected to supplement the work done in tutorials by regularly attending lectures.
Visiting students are fully integrated into the life of the college: students wear the traditional gowns, live in Pembroke College rooms, dine in hall, and have access to the full range of extracurricular clubs and societies.
One of the 38 colleges that constitute Oxford University, Pembroke College was founded in 1624 and is named for William Herbert, third Earl of Pembroke (1580-1630). Notable Pembrokians include JRR Tolkien, who was a Fellow and Professor and Anglo-Saxon at Pembroke; the famed lexicographer Dr. Samuel Johnson; James Smithson, whose bequest led to the foundation of the Smithsonian Institute; and Senator J. William Fulbright, who established the Fulbright Program for the international educational exchange for scholars, educators, graduate students, and professionals.
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