Trinity College Dublin became the newest partner school in Brown Plus One, a study abroad program that allows students to earn one-year master’s degrees following graduation, last spring. Trinity College joins the University of Edinburgh and the Chinese University of Hong Kong as the three Brown Plus One partner universities.
“We were looking for partners that are leading world universities,” qualifications that Trinity meets, said Kendall Brostuen, director of international programs and associate dean of the college.
Students can begin studying in Dublin next semester, Brostuen said. Currently, three students are taking courses at Chinese University, and no Brown students are participating in the University of Edinburgh program this semester, he said.
Participants in the program can opt to spend one or two semesters studying abroad at the partner school of their choice during their junior years. While abroad, they take full course loads, including up to two graduate courses. When a student graduates with a bachelor’s degree from Brown, he or she is invited to return to the partner school, Brostuen said. The graduate courses taken during the study abroad semester will count toward the master’s degree earned in the fifth year.
“We know the caliber of Brown students,” Brostuen said. Brown Plus One “gives them an opportunity to dig deeper in their concentration.”
Students have a variety of master’s programs to choose from, ranging from international relations to comparative literature, according to an April 25 University press release. Most one-year master’s programs are in the social sciences or humanities, Brostuen said.
“I think it’s a really lovely idea, and one of things that is nice about the Brown model is that because of the flexibility of our curriculum, it’s actually possible for us to imagine doing this,” said Dean of the College Katherine Bergeron.
The idea behind Brown Plus One formed after Brown’s Task Force on Undergraduate Education filed a report in September 2008 advocating more study abroad opportunities, Bergeron said. Programs such as the Global Independence Study Project and Brown Plus One were created as a response, she said.
GLISPs allow students on semester abroad programs to work on independent projects with Brown faculty members. All Brown Plus One students are required to complete GLISPs, which can then be used as senior capstones or honors theses, Brostuen said.
“In a way, it creates a kind of potential sequence of work where you learn more and more about a particular subject,” Bergeron said.
Though students are not required to return to the partner school where they studied abroad, Brostuen said it is advantageous because students returning to partner schools will already feel familiar with their environments. “They have a network of people so they can hit the ground running,” Brostuen said.
In order to maximize student participation, all courses in the Brown Plus One program are taught in English, no matter the destination, Brostuen said. This may change as the program moves forward, he added.