As another chilly spring semester begins, we in the International Programs office are shaking off the winter blues by looking forward to the trips that will be offered to students this coming summer. In this blog, we will discuss the opportunity to visit London and Edinburgh. With both cities playing cohost to the Study Abroad trip, students will have the chance to explore the very essence of English culture, writing, and politics. As the capitol of England, London is a focal point of western culture and politics. Throughout history, London has had no equal in Europe, or globally, as a cultural and political powerhouse. Just walking down the streets of London one can’t help but notice the seamless meld of the old and historic with the new and cutting edge. Edinburgh is much the same, while largely overshadowed by London, the city is alive with new energy traversing centuries old cobblestone streets. As the capital of Scotland, Edinburgh enjoys its place as a dynamic international city. Just last year, the city of Edinburgh played an important role in the push for Scottish independence.
The London/Edinburgh trip primarily focuses on the English language and political culture of these two iconic historical cities. Students will have two weeks to visit various classical sites such as the Shakespeare Theatre and Big Ben in London to Downing Street and the historical castles in Edinburgh. The goal of this trip will be for students to immerse themselves in the study of English and Scottish history, culture, and political systems. Students will then be able to demonstrate an enhanced ability to think critically in regard to English and Scottish thoughts and ideas.
In addition to experiencing two of the most historically important and culturally significant cities in the Western hemisphere, there are many other benefits to this trip. IU South Bend student Sarah Smeltzer reflected on one of the personal benefits that this trip afforded her when she noted, “After my experience traveling abroad, I realized that I am a much more independent person than I thought I was.” Many students who wish to travel or study abroad while in college feel as though they will not be able to manage being away from home for a prolonged period, let alone out of the country. This testimony shows that through study abroad trips like this, students are given a safe opportunity to grow and can develop a new sense of independence as a result.
Applications are available online and from the Office of International Programs. Any student desiring to participate in the program should contact trip leader Lee Kahan or Director of International Programs Dr. Lisa Zwicker.