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CCU to begin student exchange program with Scottish Association for Marine Science

June 18, 2019
Coastal Carolina University has paired with the University of the Highlands and Islands Scottish Association for Marine Science (SAMS UHI) for a student exchange program.Since 2017, 36 CCU students have traveled to Scotland for a short-term Maymester education abroad program. Since 2017, 36 CCU students have traveled to Scotland for a short-term Maymester education abroad program.

Coastal Carolina University has paired with the University of the Highlands and Islands Scottish Association for Marine Science (SAMS UHI) for a student exchange program.

The student exchange program between CCU and SAMS will begin this fall. CCU students will have the opportunity to travel to SAMS and study for an entire academic year, and SAMS will be sending two students, Natasha Bryan and Paula Benders, to CCU this fall as the first to represent SAMS in this partnership. While Bryan and Benders are at CCU, they will learn more about the marine science program at Coastal Carolina and be able to study courses not offered at their home institution.

“The institutions’ respective marine science programs are very similar in their core classes, but each institution has its own set of unique curricular tracks for the upper levels,” said Louis Keiner, associate dean for the HTC Honors College and Center for Interdisciplinary Studies. “Both institutions want to give their students the opportunity to study abroad and have those experiences and make those contacts that will help them in their careers.”

The program is aimed at students majoring in marine science, including those who choose biology, geology, physics or chemistry tracks, but is offered to students in all majors. CCU has a marine science program that offers many different options for students, but partnering with SAMS has opened a door for even more opportunities. The highlands of the west coast of Scotland have a unique environment that does not exist in the U.S.

“SAMS has tracks in areas such as aquaculture and underwater robotics that Coastal does not have,” said Keiner. “A partnership with SAMS creates even more options for our students in an environment that is completely unlike our own.”

SAMS is also looking forward to sending students to CCU for similar reasons. Their students will get to learn and experience an environment different than what they are used to.

“SAMS UHI and CCU share a passion for the marine environment, but our areas of expertise are quite different,” said Euan Paterson, media and communications officer at the Scottish Association for Marine Science. “While our students are looking forward to learning more about marshes and shark biology, we can offer CCU students a fantastic experience in oceanography, underwater robotics and the chance to explore Scotland’s unique coastline.”

Since 2017, 36 CCU students have traveled to Scotland for a short-term Maymester education abroad program. CCU and SAMS saw the benefits of the short-term program and wanted to create an option for a long-term program for students at each institution.

CCU alumna Anne Hobdy ’19 traveled to SAMS two years ago for a Maymester program during her time at CCU. Hobdy is not a part of the student exchange program starting this fall but she is attending graduate school at SAMS UHI this fall. The decision to get a master’s degree at SAMS was easy for Hobdy because of how much she loved her Maymester education abroad trip in 2017 during her undergraduate program.

“My experience studying abroad in Scotland was one of my favorites throughout my time at Coastal,” said Hobdy. “When I was exploring my options for graduate school, I decided to look into the possibility of going back there.”

Hobdy will be participating in the joint master degree program in aquaculture, environment, and society (ACES+). This is a two-year master’s program at SAMS that provides the opportunity to travel all around Europe.

“The facilities and all of the people there are amazing, not to mention its location among the beautiful scenery of the Scottish Highlands,” said Hobdy. “It is truly a marine science lover’s dream and the experience of a lifetime.”

The marine science department and the Center for Global Engagement at CCU expect that two or three students will participate in this student exchange program each year.

If you are interested in applying or want more information on this program, contact Louis Keiner at lkeiner@coastal.edu or visit coastal.edu/educationabroad/faculty-ledprograms/maymester/fieldmethodsinoceanographicdataanalysisscotland.

If you are interested in education abroad at CCU, visit coastal.edu/educationabroad.