With a student body from more than 100 countries, Richmond, the American International University in London is truly an international academic hub. However, the ‘American’ part should not go unnoticed.
Over fifty percent of Richmond’s undergraduate students are American while fifty-four percent of Richmond’s postgraduate students are American. So, what are the driving factors in Americans wanting to come study at Richmond University? An overwhelming majority of Americans that come to study at the university want a liberal arts education in an international setting.
Americans are used to a four-year liberal arts education which is not an educational curriculum that is abundant in the UK. However, Richmond University is the only university in the UK and Europe to offer a four-year liberal arts education culminating in a US and UK dual degree.
However, there is a growing minority of students whose initial short-term study abroad experiences at Richmond has encouraged them to come back to pursue their undergraduate or postgraduate degrees.
Cait Corie, a current senior from Michigan, transferred to Richmond after studying abroad at the university in the spring term of 2016. “Studying abroad not only helped me figure out my future career, but also gave me a new perspective of myself… I realized I wanted to study international relations and Richmond has a great program. I also thought finishing university abroad would give me an advantage in my career. In addition to a UK degree, Richmond also provides me with an American degree, which is what convinced my parents," said Corie.
Cait Corie is part of a growing trend of students who transfer or return to Richmond after studying abroad at the university. Jamie Kingsley, another current senior from California, transferred to Richmond after studying abroad at the university as well. “I stayed a semester at my old university before deciding to transfer to Richmond and I knew it is what I needed to do,” Kingsley says.
Kingsley is a current Marketing and PR major and stayed in London over summer break to intern for TSYPR, a boutique PR agency. "I still am unsure of the perfect career path for myself but coming to Richmond was the best decision for me. London has endless possibilities for me, so I am always excited to see what the future brings," said Kingsley.
With regards to the university’s postgraduate programmes a majority of students are American. It is also not uncommon for American postgraduate students to have studied abroad (at Richmond University or otherwise) before pursuing their postgraduate studies at the university.
In the MA Advertising & PR programme particularly, twenty-three percent of the class had previously studied abroad at Richmond University while fifteen percent previously studied abroad at another UK university.
Richmond University sees the value and necessity in international study and continues to promote it with outbound study abroad programmes in Rome, Italy and Florence Italy as well as new inbound study abroad programmes in partnership with the University of Southern California and Southern Methodist University.
Emma Oyomba, Junior Research Colleague, Richmond, the American International University in London.