Class is the Best Part of this Trip!
As I begin my third week of class, I realize the best part of this trip is taking classes. Now normally I wouldn’t say that, but these classes are so different from anything I have ever experienced. I am taking two courses: British Culture and Society, and Shakespeare: Reading and Performance.
British Culture and Society is supposed to teach us about what it means to be British, what the British culture consists of, and what we think of the culture and the society as a whole. The professor is such a nice person. She is really approachable and I like her a lot. During our regular lectures she often plays videos and clips that help us further understand what we are covering in class that day. So far I have learned a vast amount about British history and traditions, and today we covered multicultural Britain. The part I really enjoy about this class is that the professor opens the topics up for discussion and debate. She asks us whether or not we agree with topics like the British monarchy, British traditions, and whether or not we think Britain is truly multicultural. I find it really interesting to examine a culture that isn’t American, and being given the ability to praise or criticize it.
Shakespeare is a completely different class, but equally as wonderful. The dynamics of the class are the major difference considering there are seven people in Shakespeare, and fifty in British Culture. My Shakespeare class is obviously much more intimate, and I’ve actually become pretty good friends with my classmates who I otherwise wouldn’t have known. Shakespeare is much more straightforward in content- we are closely reading and discussing four plays written by Shakespeare: Richard II, Othello, Measure and Measure, and Romeo and Juliet. I absolutely love this class because I am so excited to be reading Shakespeare (in London!!!!) and the class itself is so enjoyable.
I didn’t mention the best parts of the classes though…most of the time we aren’t even in class. Every week we have taken a field trip outside the classroom, sometimes even twice a week. So far, for my British Culture class I have gone to Stonehenge, the Ancient City of Bath, Oxford, and Hampton Court Palace. This week I am going to Southall Gurdwara, which is a Sikh temple, and Greenwich. For my Shakespeare class I was given the opportunity to see Richard II at Shakespeare’s Globe, Othello at Shakespeare’s Royal Company in Stratford-upon-Avon, and the Golden Hinde which is a ship on display in London. This week I am seeing Measure for Measure at the Globe. I feel so lucky to be given the opportunity to go to the trips because otherwise I may not have experienced these places! I wouldn’t have been able to go to Stonehenge for transportation reasons, I wouldn’t’ have gone to Stratford-upon-Avon (where I also saw Shakespeare’s grave).
Kingston University has outdone themselves by allowing their study abroad students to experience what the United Kingdom has offer, while still creating a classroom setting and a student-teacher relationship. My classes are in all honesty my favorite part of this trip.