Most Yalies hoping to spend the summer at an internship in the United Kingdom through the British Bulldogs program will need to look for work elsewhere, Undergraduate Career Services Director Phil Jones announced Thursday.
Recent changes to U.K. visa policies have forbidden students from outside the U.K. from working in the country over the summer. Because the University has been unable to resolve the problem after months of back-and-forth dialogue, Jones said in a Thursday e-mail to all program applicants, British Bulldogs will no longer be open to students unless they hold passports from “approved” countries: Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Japan or any country in the European Union.
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In his e-mail, Jones said the University has exhausted its options and is encouraging students to consider other job options.
“I very much regret that we have arrived at this point,” he wrote. “There have been numerous occasions in the last 10 weeks when it seemed that we were making good progress, but each time this has come to nothing. For everyone’s sake, it is prudent now to accept the conditions that prevail, and deal accordingly.”
The British Bulldogs program is Yale’s oldest and most popular Bulldogs program, drawing about one-third of the roughly 600 International Bulldogs applications filed last year. Last year, 32 Yale students participated. While the program will run in a limited form this summer, Jones said he is confident the program will return next summer in full force.
Jones first announced that visa restrictions had placed the program’s future in jeopardy in a Jan. 28 e-mail to all non-seniors. Messages sent Feb. 19 and Feb. 27 asked applicants for renewed patience as attempts to work with British government officials did not bear fruit.
British Bulldogs applicant David Curtis ’11 said he was disappointed that the program would not continue, but he said he was heartened by the knowledge that Yale did all it could.
Another applicant, Brian Levin ’11, shared Curtis’ sentiments, adding that he had been pessimistic about the program’s future since receiving Jones’ first e-mail.
“When I found out the program was in jeopardy, I assumed it wouldn’t be able to be remedied in time,” he said. “Perhaps it would have been better to know definitively from the first time, given that it seemed from the beginning that it seemed unlikely.”
Past British Bulldogs participant Joyce Tagal ’09 said it was unfortunate that American and other ineligible students could not participate, given the program’s strength. But she noted that Yale offers many other Bulldogs programs in the United States and across the country.
Past participant and Canadian citizen Abigail Cheung ’11 said she is applying to the program again this summer. She said it is unfortunate that many Yalies are ineligible, but said she is glad the program will continue in some form.
“While I’m obviously sad that my American friends won’t be able to participate,” she said, “I’m glad the program isn’t getting scrapped altogether.”
Bulldogs Across America offers nine different programs, and applications are accepted on a rolling basis.