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14th February 2017

Exeter students study at Williams College, MA

In January six Exeter College students visited Williams College, Massachusetts to study part of the liberal arts college’s winter study programme.

Exeter College has welcomed a cohort of Williams College students every year since 1985 through the Williams at Exeter Programme in Oxford (WEPO), but this is the first time Exeter students have formally had the opportunity to study at Williams College. It was a chance to experience a liberal arts college curriculum, to reunite with friends from previous years’ WEPO groups and to make new friends, to become immersed in American culture, and of course to enjoy some snow!

Exeter students on Williams College’s campus

Sophia Miller (2012, Literae Humaniores) was one of the six students to visit. She said: “Participating in the Williams’ winter study programme was a once in a lifetime opportunity. I have a keen interest in rare books and have undertaken work experience in Exeter’s library in the past. Being able to work closely with the rare book collection at Williams College’s Chapin Library not only provided me with a further insight into how a library builds up their rare book collection, but also gave me the opportunity to study the American Civil War in America itself.

“We studied a course called ‘Eyewitnesses to History: American Treasures in the Chapin Library’. Each of us chose an item from the collection to work with – for me it was a printed speech by Charles Sumner which aimed to persuade the Senate to purchase Alaska from Russia. It was amazing to learn about the subject from a primary source.

This letter from Abraham Lincoln to Winfield Scott was one of the primary source materials Exeter students examined

Appreciating contemporary art at MASS MoCA


“We were able to get reacquainted with many of the WEPO students who were at Exeter last year, and we were all fully welcomed and integrated into student life at Williams. We promoted the WEPO exchange to prospective exchange students and gave our personal take on life at Exeter, even presenting a radio programme alongside former WEPO students. Cultural excursions, organised for us by former WEPO students, included trips to contemporary art museum MASS MoCA, a trip to an alpaca farm, a college basketball game, and a trip to Walmart! I made some lifelong friends during my time at Williams College.”

Courtside at a college basketball game

Exeter and Williams students enjoying the snow at an alpaca farm

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