THE CITY OF BRISTOL
Bristol is a thriving, modern city, effectively the capital of England's West Country, but it has a long history that can be traced back a thousand years or more. Indeed it was the most important city in England outside London until the early 19th century. It was a major port, trading with the United States from the very earliest days. Today Bristol is a major financial and industrial center where British Aerospace and Rolls Royce combine to form the biggest aerospace complex in Western Europe. It also has the factories and research laboratories of high technology companies such as Hewlett Packard and Du Pont. There are still many reminders of the city's glorious past, among them a host of medieval churches in the narrow streets of the old city, and fine examples of Georgian buildings and crescents in Clifton near the university, rivaling those of Bath only 13 miles away. Dockside warehouses have become homes, offices, shops, art galleries and cinemas, and the harbor is full of pleasure craft.
The arts flourish, with opera, film, ballet, music of every kind, and galleries ranging from the classical to the avant garde. There is a lively pub music scene, latest bands to traditional jazz, and the Colston Hall offers classical and rock concerts each week. If you are feeling adventurous, you can go caving in the Mendips or rock climbing in the Avon Gorge. Slightly further afield, but within an easy days excursion of less than 100 miles, are Oxford, Stratford-upon-Avon, Stonehenge and the coastline of south west England. The hourly speed trains take only 75-95 minutes to reach London itself.
Bristol is firmly established as one of the premier universities in the United Kingdom, and has a worldwide reputation for its scholarship and research. All British rating exercises place Bristol in the top ten out of nearly 100 universities in Britain, and for British students it is one of the most difficult universities to get into and one of the most sought after besides Oxford and Cambridge. It is a middle-sized institution with approximately 13,000 students working in more than 45 different academic departments, so there is a very rich intellectual life. Anybody familiar with British universities will be able to confirm Bristol's excellence and reputation.
THE ACADEMIC PROGRAM
You will be fully integrated into the university scene, attending the same lectures, going to the same seminars, and sitting the same examinations as your British counterparts. At the beginning of the academic year students are assigned to one of the program's academic advisers, all of whom are well versed in non-British systems, especially the American ones. Each department also has a teaching member of staff who is the Study Abroad Contact, specifically responsible for the progress of study abroad students within that department. For each of the units undertaken by a student, the relevant department will assign a tutor whose responsibility is to set essays, mark and comment upon them, and generally oversee academic well-being for that particular unit.
Departments: (Departments with an asterisk "*" received either a 4 or 5 out of 5 in the Research Assessment Exercise conducted in 2001 by the Higher Education Funding Council for England. Departments with "**" received a 5*. )
Sciences: **Anatomy, ** Biochemistry, *Biological Sciences, *Mathematics, **Chemistry, *Physics, *Computer Science, **Psychology (lab-based classes are full-year only), **Earth Sciences, Pathology & Microbiology, *Pharmacology, *Physiology, **Geography
Engineering: *Aerospace, *Electrical & Electronic, **Civil, *Mechanical, Engineering Economics
Social Sciences: *Economics & Accounting, *Social Policy & Administration, *Politics, **Social Work, Sociology
Arts: *Archaeology, History of Art, *Classics & Ancient History, Modern Languages, **Drama, *Music, *Education, *Philosophy, *English, *Hispanic Studies, *French, *German, *Italian, Deaf Studies, Law, *Theology & Religious Studies, *History
Information about course selection is available on the Bristol website: http://www.bris.ac.uk/international/studyabroad/unit-catalogue.html.
Units are normally taught through a mixture of lectures, tutorial or seminar classes (which vary in size from perhaps two to a dozen students and require active participation) and practical laboratory work (where appropriate). Attendance at classes is of course regularly monitored for credit earning purposes. Assessment is normally by written work, project or laboratory work (where relevant) and examination. These usually come at the end of the year in May and June. Cornell Abroad participants must maintain a full course load during their period of study abroad. Units are weighted differently so it is the responsibility of prospective participants to arrange with their major advisor at Cornell before departure and through communication at the time of course selection that an appropriate amount of Cornell credit will be awarded as equivalent to the work done at Bristol.
As on all Cornell Abroad programs, grades are recorded on the Cornell transcript but are not calculated in the cumulative grade point average. Bristol number grades are reported and are converted to Cornell grades according to the following Bristol recommended equivalencies: 65 and higher = A, 60-64 = A-, 57-59 = B+, 54-56 = B, 50-53 = B-, 45-49 = C+, 40-44 = C, Below 40 = C-/F.
Fall Semester: late September? - early December
Spring Semester: early January? - mid-March
Summer Semester: mid-April? - mid-June
The University of Bristol guarantees accommodation for all October entrants. January entrants, though not formally guaranteed accommodation, almost always receive housing. Participants must be willing to live under local conditions for students. There are self-catering student houses in Clifton (near the University) as well as large catering and self-catering halls of residence the majority of them at Stoke Bishop, near the university's sports ground, a convenient bus ride or 35-minute walk across open park land to the University. There is a wide variation in the amenities provided in halls of residence and students are advised that it is unlikely that all of the services to which they are accustomed at Cornell will be available (i.e. phones in rooms, ethernet connections).
There is a wide range of student-organized clubs and societies (over 150), covering cultural, academic, political, religious and recreational interests, and ranging alphabetically from amateur radio to Welsh. The Student Union houses a swimming pool, a supermarket, ATM machines, three bars, a cafe, a travel bureau, two theaters, a games room, a launderette, a hairdresser, music practice rooms, a second-hand book shop, a video and record library, study rooms and meeting rooms. Over forty sports are also represented with excellent practice facilities. The university's boathouses are at Saltford on the River Avon, and the sailing club operates at Axbridge and in the Baltic Wharf Marina near the city center. Courses are organized for beginners in many sports.
Immunization for group C meningococcus and for mumps is recommended by UK health authorities.