First-time-in-college students at The University of Texas at Austin can now launch their academic careers with a semester abroad through a new pilot program, Take the World by the Horns. Inaugural cohorts will engage in immersive experiential learning during the Fall 2024 semester in one of three locations: Copenhagen, Denmark; Panama City, Panama; or Seoul, South Korea.
Texas Global created this innovative program in collaboration with UT’s Office of Admissions.
“We are thrilled to bring this unique opportunity to our new students in three dynamic locations,” said Sonia Feigenbaum, senior vice provost for global engagement. “Take the World by the Horns will continue to propel UT Austin forward as a leader in education abroad by enabling more students to explore beyond the classroom and communicate across cultures.”
During their first semester of enrollment, participating students will develop global competencies and language skills that will enhance their college careers while building relationships within their cohorts of 20-25 peers. Upon returning to the Forty Acres, these Longhorns will have the option to enroll in a First-Year Signature Course in the spring semester to deepen their experience abroad and continue to expand their networks.
Each program location engages students in exploring a theme central to UT Austin’s 10-year strategic plan, including health and well-being, energy and the environment, and technology and society. Freshmen will earn 12 credit hours through intensive coursework and experiential learning.
Copenhagen is ranked second in the world for quality of life, creating the ideal location for students to consider the urban infrastructure and health care systems that set a global standard for well-being. With partner DIS Copenhagen, students will pursue coursework in comparative health care systems, complemented by study tours to research centers and clinics across Scandinavia.
Panama tops the world’s biodiversity rankings due to its location between the Caribbean Sea, the Gulf of Chiriqui, and the Gulf of Panama. Students in Panama City will intern with an environmental nonprofit organization and take courses with the partner School for International Training, focusing on environmental study, fieldwork ethics, and research design. They will participate in excursions to wildlife preserves, marine exhibition centers, and national parks.
Enjoying South Korea’s rank of No. 1 in Asia and No. 5 in the world for global innovation, students in Seoul will discover how Korea integrates technology into daily life. Combining coursework at partner institution Hanyang University with cultural excursions and service-learning opportunities, participants will also visit the world-famous Yongsan Electronics market and SK Telecom 2053.
Take the World by the Horns addresses a burgeoning interest among prospective students to embark on international experiences earlier in their college careers.
“There are growing numbers of recent high school graduates who choose to take a gap year to travel and see the world before college,” said Brian Dixon, UT’s vice provost for enrollment management. “Take the World by the Horns allows first-time-in-college students to pursue their educational goals and broaden their intellectual and cultural horizons.”
Students who indicate interest in the program on their UT Austin application for admission, either via the Common App or Apply Texas, will receive a supplementary application to complete. Applications for Take the World by the Horns are now open, with a deadline to apply by December 8, 2023.