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London School of Economics Offers New Perspective for Midshipmen

Posted on: October 18, 2012 08:00 EDT by Jessica Clark

The Naval Academy is known for its international, language and cultural opportunities, with 420 midshipmen participating during the past year. One of those opportunities includes summer study at the London School of Economics.

Fifteen midshipmen took advantage of this opportunity last summer, spending three to five weeks in London while taking classes in relevant subjects like the economics of European integration, economic development and economic growth, and even accounting.

The program, initiated about ten years ago by academy economics Professor Pamela Schmitt, allows the midshipmen to study abroad while earning credits toward their own degrees. Some of the classes may be similar to what they can take at the Naval Academy, some are different, but either way the overseas experience does the midshipmen good, said Schmitt.

"The idea of learning with civilians, learning from a different country's perspective on economic issues is very valuable for midshipmen, especially because they're going to be stationed in different areas and have to deal with different cultural experiences," she said.

The London School of Economics attracts students from all over the world to participate in its summer programs. Getting that kind of exposure to a different academic environment with students from different cultures is beneficial, said Professor Darrell Glaser.

Interested and qualified students apply directly to the London School of Economics, and as long as they receive a B or better in the classes they take, they come back with credit toward their degree and a new perspective on their chosen field.

"They realize just how economics and what they're learning in all their classes here can actually be applied in different environments," said Glaser. "I think that's eye opening for them and good for them."

Midshipmen have to be fairly advanced within their coursework - typically juniors and seniors apply - and have maintained a 3.3 grade point average in all relevant classes, including calculus and all of their economics classes.

"I thought this was an excellent opportunity as a student and as a future naval officer," said Midshipman 2nd Class Earl Ehrhart. "Not only was I able to experience other cultures and interact with students from around the world, but I was also exposed to a challenging economic curriculum.

"The experiences I had in London this summer were invaluable to my future career and to my development as an American citizen."

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