The purchase of a new Study Abroad residence in Oxford, England, marks another exciting milestone in the university’s 21st-Century Vision goal of preparing students to think globally by offering valuable cross-cultural experiences.
The recently renovated Victorian house, located at 163 Woodstock Rd. in Central North Oxford, will serve as housing for 26 students. It features eight bedrooms, six bathrooms, two kitchens, five reception rooms, a studio, outside deck and backyard, and covers a 6,457 square-foot area. ACU has received permission from Oxford’s City Council to build an extension onto the rear left wing to create a small flat to house ACU faculty.
This quintessentially English property will serve as a welcoming hub to explore and connect with Oxford, London, Great Britain and the European continent, as well as form meaningful Christian community in ways that honor the best of the ACU experience, said university president Dr. Phil Schubert (’91).
Stephen Shewmaker (’91), executive director of ACU Study Abroad, said the purchase of the property is another significant piece in realizing ACU’s strategic objective to have 50 percent of undergraduate students study abroad.
“My hope would be that ACU students will be studying abroad in Oxford for the next 100 years,” he said. “Whether you’ve worked in Study Abroad like I have, you’re a faculty member who has led a trip, or you’re a student who has studied there, we all have a more permanent connection to Oxford by making this purchase.”
The current Oxford Study Abroad program, ACU’s flagship, began in the mid-1990s. ACU began leasing the current two houses used to house students in 1999, and the search for a permanent property began in 2002. The Oxford Study Abroad Program will remain in the currently leased houses until the end of this summer, Shewmaker said.
Then beginning in Fall 2020, students will be housed at the new property.
The latest “Best Colleges” rankings by U.S. News and World Report placed ACU’s Study Abroad program in the Top 50 in the nation.