York St. John University – Study Abroad

            The partnership between Juniata and York St. John University is young compared to other programs that are offered at Juniata. The York St. John program started just twenty years ago, the partnership was originally limited to those studying education and not on York’s main campus, rather on the Ripon campus instead. This quickly expanded to other fields, granting more students access to the program.

            The walled city of York, England finds its origins in the Roman Empire. The land was originally used as a Roman fortress. However, the fortress was abandoned later on due to periodic flooding by the rivers Ouse and Foss. The Anglo-Saxons and the Vikings contested ownership of the York area for many years to come. The city today is an archaeological wonder. Much of the city is almost perfectly preserved back to medieval era. York is also the home of the largest medieval cathedral in Northern Europe, while under the cathedral is the remains of the Basilica: the ceremonial centre of the Roman Fortress. The city has several castles and historical sites such as The York Dungeon, Clifford’s Tower, and the Castle Museum. Throughout the year there are also many festivals and events that happen in the city, and is a prime example of many people’s idea of quintessential medieval England.

            York St. John University in name is quite young. It was originally founded in 1841 as the Church College for Teacher Training. Over one hundred years later, in 1975, the school joined with the college of Ripon to become Ripon & York St. John. Though the school itself did not have the power to grant degrees, it did so through the University of Leeds. In 2006, the school finally became known as York St. John University. The university has a wide range of programs available for their undergraduates and also offer postgraduate education in several fields: business, theology, education, theater, fine art, film production, music composition, counseling, health, and linguistics.

            The York St. John program at Juniata has limited enrollment, so the program is rather competitive. The partnership began in 1994, originally with the University College of Ripon and York St. John. In 2002, the Ripon campus was shut down and all students went to the York St. John campus. With records beginning at 1999, Juniata had sent 130 students to York and Ripon, with York St. John sending ninety to Huntingdon, in sixteen years. The first exchange of students consisted of seven from each school.

            The program was originally started as a way for Juniata students in the Education program to study abroad. Without the program and its transferable credits, it was impossible for an Education POE to fulfill all credit requirements to be able to graduate in four years and to be able to study abroad as well. Then in 1997 the Gahagan Foundation gave $25,000 to create the International Teacher Training Project. The project worked out ways to blend the teaching styles of the two countries. Headed by Dr. Fay Glosenger, the initial meet-up consisted up three professors and a dean from each school. This helped to integrate courses so that college students would be able to study at both places and meet their graduation requirements. This projects also opened the doors for public school teachers to connect with each other, creating a book exchange program between the two countries.

            By 2002 the original guidelines no longer worked. The British requirements for education majors tightened, preventing education majors from across Britain from studying abroad. In 2012, Dr. Glosenger and others traveled across England to work out the requirements so that the students would be able to study abroad once more. As of September 2012, the new Teachers’ Standards replaced the existing Qualified Teaching Status (QTS). These new standards made it possible for the education branch of the York St. John and Juniata program to flourish once more. Even though the schools were no longer able to send education majors, this did not prevent other majors from studying at York St. John. While the program was initially started to assist education POEs, all range of majors now take advantage of the program.

            Juniata students have a wide variety of courses available to take during their stay at York St. John. Many of the courses are transferable to meet credit requirements at Juniata. However, students still need to check to make sure that the courses they plan to take do transfer, as not all courses do.

            Juniatians have found the campus and residence area, Lord Mayor’s Walk, to be beautiful and has an easy walking distance to the city. The students of Juniata of would feel right at home in York. The two places share the same “small village” feel, creating an easy transition.


Kara Omer ’18



Fay Glosenger, Professor of Early Childhood Education, in discussion with author, May 28th 2016.

Kati Csoman, Dean of International Education Juniata College, email to author, March 23rd, 2016.

The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea. "The Professional Standards Framework for Teachers." Accessed April 01, 2016. https://www.rbkc.gov.uk/cpd-schools/teachers/newly-qualified-teachers/nqt-induction-hand-book/professional-standards.

"Study at York St John University". York St John University official website. Accessed February 19, 2016. http://www.yorksj.ac.uk/study.aspx

York Museums Trust Project. "History of York." York Minster. Accessed February 19, 2016. http://www.historyofyork.org.uk/themes/york-minster

York's Official Visitor Information Service. "Discover York's Rich History." Brief History of York. Accessed February 19, 2016.

"York St John University." Complete University Guide. Accessed April 01, 2016. http://www.thecompleteuniversityguide.co.uk/york-st-john