Sam Gause ’21
Prior to being accepted as a “Jan,” I had no knowledge of the January Admission program and was pretty confused when I first opened the letter. However, after I started reviewing the options, I decided that the opportunity to go to Hamilton by starting with the Arcadia program in London would be a good fit for me – and I have never looked back. I wanted to get to know other Hamilton students before coming to campus, and being able to study abroad early was a truly enlightening experience. I remember a few days after our arrival in London, I was walking through the city with a friend of mine who remarked about our newfound freedom and independence, and that’s what sticks out to me in my mind. It was a tremendous experience and I benefited so much from it.
In London, I took three courses at Arcadia and one at a British university. In particular, I loved my experience with the British institution, given the style of education is different and because I got to study great power politics from a talented lecturer. The course schedule still gave me the opportunity to travel to many European cities and countries – trips to the Prado in Madrid, the Berlin Christmas Village, and the Austrian Alps were highlights.
Returning to Hamilton in the spring seemed natural to me – I thoroughly enjoyed my time in London, but I was ready to be on campus and with the broader Hamilton community. I had made friends from my orientation trip who have stuck with me to this day, and being part of the rowing team made joining the community very easy. I also appreciated how eager Hamilton students were to meet and welcome the new “Jans” and hear about our experience.
I credit my Jan experience with building my confidence and helping me be more independent; when I later spent a semester away for the Hamilton Program in Washington, I wasn’t daunted by cooking my own meals or navigating the subway system. Living in London, and ultimately being a Hamilton “Jan”, prepared me for the future in ways I could not have predicted.