Study Abroad

London — home of Her Royal Majesty, the iconic Big Ben, St. Paul’s Cathedral and five UMHB students.

Students who enrolled in the university’s London Studies Program had the opportunity to study abroad in England’s capital for three months this semester. Small classes, famous sights, a new culture, and numerous travel opportunities are just a few of the many things the trip had to offer.

Because they lived there for three months, one of the best parts was not feeling like a tourist, but rather a local.

Sophomore theology and philosophy major Curtis Landrum, said, “I love casually passing the main sites, especially St. Paul’s, but I also liked coming back to our ‘home.’ It reminds me that I’m living in London like a Londoner.”

St. Paul’s Cathedral overlooks Millennium Bridge in London.

St. Paul’s Cathedral overlooks Millennium Bridge in London.

Throughout the semester, the group took day trips to Stonehenge,
Canterbury, Bath Cambridge, Oxford and Brighton where students and advisers toured cathedrals, Roman baths, palaces and castles. They saw more historic sites and museums in the past months than most had seen in their entire lives.

On free weekends the group traveled around the United Kingdom and other European countries.

“My favorite place that I went on this trip would have to be Dublin, Ireland,” said senior exercise sports science major Kyla Taylor, “It was amazing and beautiful, and I loved the ability to go anywhere on the weekends.”

Most of the time it was easy for students to forget they were actually receiving academic credit because the classes were so interesting and unique.

British Life and Culture was a required course taught by two of London’s highest ranked tour guides. Students met for three hours once a week and took a trip through different areas in London. Courses were taught in art history and theater by local London critics which required visiting museums and galleries and attending theater productions.

Christian Studies Professor, Dr. Leroy Kemp and his wife, Dr. Jean Kemp, were this year’s faculty for the trip. Dr. Leroy Kemp taught two courses, Worldviews and Historic Churches and Preachers of London.

He said, “I chose the courses hoping to be able to relate to the surroundings and also something that might be attractive to the students.”

Students liked the courses because they were very interactive and gave further insight into the history and culture of London.

Another highlight of the trip was the nine-day spring break tour through Northern U.K. Within England the groups visited Stratford, York, and Keswick
Lake District and also made it to Edinburgh, Scotland, and Caernarfon, Wales.

They saw a production of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, toured York Cathedral, walked around both Edinburgh’s and Caernarfon’s infamous castles, got caught in a blizzard, climbed mountains, and roamed the local streets looking for cheap food.

Kemp said, “My favorite place to travel was to Keswick and especially to Dove Cottage and to the Wordsworth museum. The inspiring beauty of the
Lake Country was awesome to behold.”

Students said their favorite part of the trip ranged from unlimited Oyster passes (public transportation) to riding the London Eye, the famous huge ferris wheel overlooking the Thames River, on St. Patrick’s Day.

For Landrum, the highlight of the semester was “riding Segways through the 900 acres of immaculate gardens at the Palace of Versailles in Paris.”

Many students come on this trip with desires to travel to certain places, and most of those hopes are met, if not exceeded. It’s the same for the faculty.

Kemp said, “I would highly recommend every student, if at all possible, take a semester abroad, and my first choice would be London. I expected a lot from this experience, and I received more.”

Author: Lindsay Schaefer

Lindsay Schaefer is a junior Mass Communication, Public Relations major at UMHB. She is the Entertainment Page editor for The Bells Newspaper. Growing up in the small town of Nacogdoches, Texas taught her to enjoy the simple things in life such as local cuisine, an afternoon at grandma’s house, and getting to know her “neighbors”. If she’s not hunting for the latest pair of shoes, she can most likely be found eating chocolate cake with her closest friends. She enjoys making copies for the Bells newspaper and taking on many other random assignments!

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