From: Lapeer, Michigan
Majors: English-Teacher Certificate Program
Jessica traveled to London for 3 weeks as part of the 2011 London UM-Flint faculty-led program led by Professor Stephan Landon and Professor Shelby Newport. Here is a reflection of her experience:
The program to London was mostly theatre design-based. We got to see all the "tourist attractions" but also were given backstage tours of London's National Theatre and its costume hire. We also got to see a live performance almost every night!
Shelby Newport and Stephen Landon were amazing leaders because, since our group was a smaller size, they were able to give each student one on one attention and thus, more insight into what interested us about the art, theatre or architecture. They teachers were very open to any ideas the students had. We kept a journal and were required to write in it every day- but we could write about any significant experience from that day. We also took turns uploading blog posts so our friends and family back home could stay updated.
Which experience had the most impact on your personally?
Going to Shakespeare's Globe and Stratford had the most impact on me. It's the English major's Mecca!
What were your expectations of the trip? How did your experience differ from your expectations?
I honestly thought that the trip would be more "touristy" but after a while, London felt like home. We had planned tours and outings with the group but also had the freedom to explore on our own or just sit and relax at a cafe.
What was the biggest difference in culture that you experienced while a abroad?
I'm from a smaller town and experienced a little bit of culture shock in London because of how many people were always there. The streets and the tube are always crowded and it’s easy to get a little overwhelmed but it's okay to just take a minute and take a deep breath.
What surprised you the most about your time abroad?
I made a lot of friends! Everyone in the program was eager to get along and even though we were a pretty eclectic bunch, we still enjoyed exploring London with one another.
How has this experience changed you?
I have a deeper appreciation for the art of theater and architecture.
Would you recommend this program to other students?
Absolutely! It's always a good idea to get out and experience something new and different. It can be scary and nerve-racking but I'll never regret it.
London, United Kingdom