Study Abroad Program


The Webb Institute – University of Southampton Exchange Program (SOTON) was established in the spring of 2008 as a means of further realizing our mission statement encouraging students to develop a global perspective and broadening their education experience.  Recognizing that globalization is a factor of ever-increasing importance in today’s world, Webb Institute understands the need to be proactive in creating opportunities for today’s students to experience different cultures and to interact with individuals whose world view may differ from their own.  As one of many avenues that may be pursued to achieve this goal, Webb participates in a Semester Abroad/Student Exchange Program with the University of Southampton, School of Engineering Sciences, Ship Science Program. 

Participation in the program is open to two or three Webb students during the fall semester of their sophomore year.  A like number of Southampton students are offered the opportunity to take senior year level courses at Webb during the spring academic semester.

In the six years the program has been in effect, we have sent 21 students to Southampton.  Southampton students began attending Webb in the spring semester 2012; in the last four years ten Southampton students have attended Webb with two students arriving this spring 2015. 


Webb students take a prescribed set of courses at Southampton, matching as nearly as possible the courses they would otherwise be taking during that semester at Webb.  

The University of Southampton is a self study program. This is the single greatest difference between the Southampton and Webb programs and is the single greatest challenge to participating students. There is little coursework, very little professor interaction face to face, and almost no testing assessments before the finals. As such, it is the student’s responsibility to read the applicable material, find problem sets to study, and prepare for the final exams, with very little or no structured assignments or textbooks to assist in the process. 


Webb students participating in the exchange program will not pay tuition fees, but will bear the cost of purchasing textbooks, room and board charges and other related fees, similar to the fees they would incur during a semester at Webb.  Similarly, Southampton students attending Webb will not pay tuition fees, but will be responsible for purchasing textbooks, room and board charges and other related fees.  All students will be responsible for paying their own transportation and miscellaneous living expenses. 


The Dean’s office will distribute the criteria and application for the Study Abroad Program. Students seeking to participate in the semester abroad program must be in good academic standing and must submit an application in the spring semester of their freshman year along with an essay that is typically due before the spring recess in April. Leadership ability, academic performance, and a desire to experience new cultures are among some of the important criteria. 

Applications will be reviewed and candidates will be selected by a committee comprised of faculty and administration. Prospective exchange students are encouraged to talk to past participants and ask questions about the experience.  Accepted participants are notified within the first week of May.


The main language in Great Britain is English, and there are many familiar sights/sounds still abound. The pub is a central element of British social life, nearly all university students relax, meet, study and enjoy the national pastime of football, cricket, and rugby at their favorite local pub. 

British bus, rail, and underground are all immensely popular and serve as the only reasonable methods of travel. The infrastructure of Great Britain is geared toward mass transit and makes sizable trips quite simple. The two and a half hour train to London from Southampton is easily accessed by bus from central campus for less than $10. Day trips to Salisbury, Cambridge, Oxford, and London are all highly accessible.

The decreased quantity of coursework affords a greater quantity of leisure time than one generally enjoys at Webb, which allows plenty of time to explore local parks, landmarks, and museums. Southampton’s Student Union frequently holds events, parties, socials, contests, and competitions, there is never a lack of opportunities to socialize.


Below you will find blogs and testimonials of students who participated in this program: 

An Adventure in Europe: The Travels of Webb's 2014 SOTON Students - 2014 

Across the Pond: A Webbie Saga of Our Semester at Southampton - 2013

Study Abroad Excursions - 2012

A Semester of Immersion - 2012