CMC offers London residential program to international students for spring 2021

A green space and a glass building are flanked by two other buildings
Claremont McKenna College will offer a new spring residential program in London to international students. (Chris Nardi • The Student Life)

Claremont McKenna College will offer its international students a residence hall away from Claremont this spring, announcing a new spring residential program in London to international students Dec. 2 and to all students Dec. 9.

The “adapted residential program,” set for Jan. 21 to May 15, will allow CMC students who are F-1 visa holders or who have a permanent address outside of the United States to live in single studio apartments at the IES Abroad Bloomsbury location, according to CMC’s website.

In the college’s schoolwide announcement, President Hiram Chodosh said the residential program was for CMC international students “struggling with time zone challenges” in coursework. 

Students who participate in the London program must enroll in at least three 5C courses, and most will have to obtain a visa depending on their country of citizenship, according to a Dec. 5 email about the program from Dean of Students Dianna Graves to some international students. 

The cost of tuition and room and board will be the same as that of a normal CMC semester, and health insurance will be provided through Cultural Insurance Services International, according to the Dec. 5 email and the program description on CMC’s website. A mandatory quarantine upon arrival will be supported by local IES staff. 

Diya Courty-Stephens CM ’23, a Canadian resident born in London, is looking forward to studying in a new environment after spending last semester at home.

“When I heard about the London program, I thought it would be a great opportunity to regain a peer support network,” she said. “Although I’m aware [of London’s COVID-19 restrictions], I still think I will have a meaningful and rewarding experience.”

CMC planned to offer a similar program in Shanghai for students who are Chinese citizens, but the program is unlikely to occur due to new guidance from the Chinese government, Graves said in an email update to some international students Dec 8. 

The CMC in Shanghai program would have allowed students to live together and take CMC classes from Shanghai through a partnership with IES. 

Students were to initially take one course at a Chinese university per requirements by the Chinese government, Graves said in the Dec. 5 email about both residential programs. The course would have been designed by CMC and taught by an IES adjunct faculty member.

After the Chinese Ministry of Education changed the local course requirement to eight course credit hours worth of study at a Chinese university, CMC halted its plans for the program, Graves said in the Dec. 8 email. CMC is trying to negotiate the new rule but does not expect a change. 

“Given this new rule, we do not believe that we can move forward with CMC in Shanghai for Spring 2021. It has always been our hope to bring our students together in a format that allows for students to continue making progress towards their CMC degree, while providing a community for students to live and learn together,” Graves said.

“We are saddened by this development and remain committed to our efforts to support our international students as we head into next semester.”

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