Clarksville, TN – If you take the train an hour north from London to the town of Grantham, where Sir Isaac Newton once studied, you’ll discover an ornate Victorian estate hidden deep in the countryside.
The secluded house, often compared to fictional places like Downton Abbey and Hogwarts, is known as Harlaxton Manor, and it’s surrounded by lush gardens and green lawns so wide that the Royal Air Force landed bombers on the property during World War II.
For more than 50 years, the University of Evansville has used the manor for its top-rated study abroad program, and in the early 1990s, Dr. Marissa Chandler spent a year as a college student living in the opulent country home.
“It was a dream come true,” Chandler, now director of study abroad and international exchange at Austin Peay State University, said. “It’s owned by the University of Evansville, and I was able to study there and have an amazing experience.”
Chandler’s time at Harlaxton transformed her life, turning her into a world traveler whose passport is filled with stamps from places like Tokyo, Paris and the Galapagos Islands. A few years ago, while feeling nostalgic for her days at Harlaxton, Chandler began work on a partnership between Austin Peay and Evansville. That partnership has resulted in Austin Peay’s signature study abroad program – APSU’s British DEAL (Discovery, Exploration, Adventure, Learning) – which will send students to live in Harlaxton Manor for a week, followed by a week in London.
“We’re very happy to be partnering with the No. 1 program in the country,” Dr. Mickey Wadia, APSU professor of languages and literature, said. In 2019, Evansville’s Harlaxton program was named the best study abroad program by Best College Reviews. “Harlaxton is a Victorian manor home but it resembles a castle in many ways. It’s absolutely exquisite on the inside. I mean, who has classes for God’s sake in a Victorian manor.”
Austin Peay State University will continue its signature program from May 9th-23rd by offering three classes at Harlaxton – a world literature class taught by Wadia, and a global business class taught by Dr. Victoria McCarthy, professor of management and marketing, and a public speaking class, taught by Dr. Pamela Gray, professor of communication. Part of what makes the program unique is that the world literature class is a general education core course that most students take within their first two years, regardless of their major.
The University has offered study abroad courses for decades, sending students to South America, Asia and Europe for different educational experiences. The APSU British DEAL program is different because it creates, for one week every summer, a satellite Austin Peay campus at an English country manor, followed by a week in London.
The first 25 students who sign up and commit to the program will have their airfare covered.
“And there’s lots of other funding sources available for students,” Chandler said.
For information on Austin Peay State University’s new British DEAL program, visit https://apsu-sa.terradotta.com/index.cfm?FuseAction=Programs.ViewProgram&Program_ID=39298.