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iCharleston: First Semester Freshman Study Aboard

Posted by: Erin Blevins | July 21, 2015 | No Comment |


iCharleston (iCHS) is an international bridge program that provides students the opportunity to go abroad to either London, Dublin or Kelowna BC in Canada for their first semester in college. During the semester, participants grow as individuals and develop an affinity to the College of Charleston while living and studying abroad.  Participants in the program are selected by the Office of Admissions based on their applications to the College of Charleston.  Students participate in iCHS and then matriculate as a College of Charleston student in the spring semester following iCHS.

Providing extra tools and one-on-one mentoring, iCHS helps students transition from high school to living abroad for their first semester in college. A Site Director is sent along with each cohort to provide academic, social, and mental support during the fall semester abroad, and then serves as a resource on CofC campus in the spring when everyone returns. This support comes in the form of programming for the cohort, one-on-one meetings with each participant, group meetings in which the Site Director talks about important topics like time management, homesickness and study skills. Participants select courses from a list of options pre-approved for academic credit at CofC; the coursework has relevance to the host country, giving participants a base to learn about their new host country.

The program has grown significantly from the first to second year. In Fall 2014, 21 students participated and this coming Fall 2015, 63 students are registered. In addition to this, three CofC alumni will share this experience with the participants as Site Directors.

Here’s what the Fall 2014 students had to share about their experiences:

“iCharleston has changed me for the better as I now have the confidence to live on my own, travel on my own, and to tackle any class that comes my way.” -iCHS Kelowna student

Student video:



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