Welcome from Professor James Basker
Dear Students, Parents, and Teachers,
I am delighted to introduce Oxbridge Academic Programs, an organization that, for 33 years, has brought thousands of bright, enthusiastic seventh-through-twelfth grade students to study first in Oxford, then in Paris, Cambridge, Barcelona, Montpellier, New York, Salamanca, St Andrews, Los Angeles, and Boston. As we look forward to next summer, we continue to emphasize our founding principles: imaginative teaching, experiential learning, and cultural enrichment, all charged with the excitement of living in some of the most fascinating cities in the world.
One key to our success over the years has been our truly outstanding faculty. I cannot be modest about a group of teachers whose credentials include Rhodes, Gates, Marshall, and Fulbright Scholarships, as well as Mellon Fellowships, teaching posts at Oxford, Cambridge, St Andrews, the Sorbonne, Pompeu Fabra, Harvard, Columbia, UCLA, and other top institutions, not to mention awards for excellence in the arts and sciences, in scholarship, and in teaching. If you could see them in the classroom, where their energy and passion for their subjects and their talent for inspiring students shine so brilliantly, then you would understand why I believe they are the finest faculty assembled anywhere for this kind of program.
Ultimately, the program depends on the students who enroll, the interests they bring, and the energy they contribute. Our students come from everywhere in North America: New York, Los Angeles, Miami, Seattle, Mexico City, Puerto Rico, Toronto, Vancouver, and everywhere in between. The past few years have seen an increasing internationalization of our student body with students from Australia, Brazil, England, France, Italy, India, South Africa, Japan, China, Singapore, Turkey, the Philippines, Hungary, Austria, and more than 80 other countries.
Some students come to pursue a subject they love, others to try one they’ve never done; some to polish their writing or build a background for college; others to escape the pressures of GPA and class rank; and others to experience living in a foreign country or to indulge their love of different cultures. Most bring a mixture of purposes. But judging from the feedback of thousands of students we have had over the years, they all have a special experience. Not just an incremental increase in factual knowledge, but a transformation in their sense of themselves, their own capabilities, and the place of learning and creativity in their lives.
This coming year will be especially exciting. In all the programs there are new courses and more distinguished guest speakers than ever. I hope that as you read this literature and talk to our former students, you will come to share their feeling about the unique opportunities our programs offer. For the right student, there is nothing like it. I look forward to meeting many of you this year, in Europe or the U.S.
James G. Basker
Educated at Harvard (AB), Cambridge (MA), and Oxford (DPhil), where he was a Rhodes Scholar, Professor Basker taught at Harvard for seven years before coming to Barnard College, Columbia University. Formerly the Ann Whitney Olin Professor of English, he was appointed the Richard Gilder Professor of Literary History in 2006. Professor Basker has designed and directed student programs in Oxford and Cambridge, St Andrews, Paris, Montpellier, Barcelona, Salamanca, New York, Boston, and Los Angeles. He has written many books on history and literature (including most recently American Anti-Slavery Writings, 2012) and he has been an invited guest lecturer at the Sorbonne, Cambridge, and Oxford, a Visiting Fellow at Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge, and a James Osborn Fellow at Yale. Professor Basker is also President of the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History in New York City, where he advises on educational projects in the public school system and on teacher seminars at Yale, Harvard, Oxford, Cambridge, and a dozen other universities.