Is there a better way to learn about European history and culture than in the UK itself? The Honors College led 16 Honors students on a 12-day tour of British history, art, and culture. They explored London’s political street art, walked the grounds of Stonehenge and Windsor Castle, visited the Roman baths at Bath, toured Oxford University, and navigated the subterranean maze of the London Underground. Students kept a daily photo journal of impressions in preparation for their expansive final paper. Several members of the class extended their stay, traveling to other parts of Europe afterward. Action-packed and fast-paced, Royals & Rebels served as an introductory plunge into all things English. Here are some of the students’ (and instructors’) favorite memories from the trip:
Dr. David Southward:
I loved our class discussions: gathering at the hotel bar, arranging chairs in a circle, reading everyone’s journal, listening to what people had to say about the day’s discoveries—all while sipping a scotch. The atmosphere was electric! There were so many hands in the air, we didn’t know who to call on. After our last meeting a gentleman from Barcelona, who had been eavesdropping, came up to ask me about the course. He couldn’t believe how intellectually engaged our group was, how intense yet civilized the conversation had been. Way to represent the homeland, Honors students!
Dr. Alan Singer:
This was a highlight in my teaching career! Having Honors College students, with their passion and commitment to their studies, on the ground in England to closely examine its history and culture was terrific. Along with the fabulous evening discussions, I also particularly enjoyed traveling around London and beyond with everybody. It’s always great to experience things again with new eyes. Our students didn’t forget to bring their excellent critical thinking skills on the road. I couldn’t imagine a better group to have been enrolled in the first “Royals and Rebels”.
Anthony La Licata:
My favorite memory was when we first arrived in London. Although this memory doesn’t contain much of the actual trip, it was the beginning of the realization of how great traveling can be. As I have never actually been outside of the United States it was great to have this experience, which has not only lead to me experiencing a whole new culture, but also some new friendships. The whole trip has given me fantastic memories, but the first instance of being somewhere new has encouraged me to explore further in the future and create even more memories.
“Run! Faster, faster, go, go, go!” A hasty dash from a restaurant called Garfunkel’s to the tube station we were supposed to be at 5 minutes ago. My favorite element of the Royals & Rebels trip was the friendships I made. We took 16 different students, with different majors and interests, different walks of life and we made it work. I know if I had run into most of these people in America I probably wouldn’t have made an effort to spend time with them, but in London anything was possible. We had so much fun and we now have jokes and bonds with each other that will never grow old. #SuperiorBusRiders4EVA
What I enjoyed most about the Royals and Rebels course is also the main reason I joined this class. This course gave me an in-depth view of British culture, connecting it to both my Dutch background and American culture. The tour- and audio-guides were incredibly thorough. It was a shame that some were so thorough there was not enough time to go through every item on the guide. This is where my classmates and the class discussion came to the rescue. The discussions were a time for everyone to share their story, completing my image of what we had visited that day. It was one of my favorite parts of the course.
My favorite memory from the trip was when most of our class hung out together in one of the hotel rooms after our discussion on one of our last nights in London. Although I do not remember exactly what we were talking about, I do remember that I rarely laugh as hard as I did that night. I knew that I would gain academic and worldly knowledge on this study abroad trip, but I never thought that I would gain new friends like I did. At the beginning of the program, I only knew one other person, but by the end of the program I felt like I was friends with each and every classmate – we really bonded in London.