William Paterson University’s Summer Program at Cambridge Explores Comparative and International Political Issues

2016 William Paterson University Cambridge students with Professor Sir Brian Heap

William Paterson University’s Summer Program at Cambridge

Seventeen William Paterson University students will spend three weeks during July and August 2017 studying comparative and international political issues at St. Edmund’s College, part of Cambridge University in England, through the University’s Summer Program at Cambridge.

Now in its 18th year, the program provides students with the opportunity to study alongside students from more than 75 nations at one of the world’s top educational institutions.  The program is directed by Michael Principe, professor of political science and a visiting fellow at St. Edmund’s College for 25 years; to date, more than 225 students have participated in the program.

The students—11 undergraduate and 6 graduate students—will take two classes:  Comparative Rights, taught by Principe, and Comparative Social Policy, taught by Maya Chadda, a William Paterson University professor of political science and an expert in international relations and comparative policy. Participants spend a week preparing for the trip and three weeks at Cambridge.

“The program is designed to provide students with an intellectually and personally rewarding experience in one of the world's most respected academic institutions. By exposing them to different ways of thinking and developing their awareness of critical issues in a foreign setting, students broaden their horizons and develop essential intellectual skills that can greatly benefit them in their careers,” says Principe. 

During the program, students get the opportunity to sit in daily lectures in St. Edmund's College do research in both the Squire Law Library and Cambridge University Library, visit London and Houses of Parliament, and take advantage of a number of social, educational, and research opportunities in the university, including living among and interacting with graduate students representing more than 75 nations that reside in St. Edmund's College.

“The students come back home with an entirely different view of global affairs,” Principe adds. “Their views shift dramatically, and they seem more mature—they comprehend more because they develop critical thinking skills that help them to understand the world around them.”

The trip solidified a major life choice for Chris Bauer, a 2013 graduate of William Paterson with majors in legal studies and political science. “I was going to work as a paralegal for a couple of years after graduation, but my time in Cambridge made me realize what I could do,” he says.  With Principe’s encouragement, he applied and was accepted to West Virginia Law School, from which he graduated in 2016 and was named executive editor of the Law Review.  He is currently an associate with the international law firm Steptoe & Johnson and will be clerking for the Honorable Robert W. Trumble of the United States District Court for the Northern District of West Virginia from 2017–2018.

William Paterson’s Summer in Cambridge Program is just one of several unique international study options that are specific to the University. Programs include Summer Art in China, a biannual trip which provides an intensive, three-week cultural immersion in the art and history of China, as well as regular study tours to Italy, the Netherlands, and Japan.