Monday, September 15, 2014

Study Abroad at Royal Holloway University

In less than one week, I depart from my hometown in Ohio to London, England for a study abroad semester that I hope will expand my horizons and expose me to the world in the way reading a book can't. I'll be abroad for 12 weeks, studying at Royal Holloway University of London.

Why London?

I've wanted to study abroad since high school, when I discovered that you could actually travel to a different part of the world and get academic credit for it. Until my first year of college, I wanted to study in Spain. That dream ended when I declared two majors in the English department (Literature and Professional Writing). Unfortunately, studying Spanish was no longer conducive to earning my degree. Bummer.

But never fear! I went online and found a semester-long study abroad program that fit my major and which I was able to use my Miami University financial aid with. Win-win. It also happened to be in London. Win-win-win. Who doesn't want to see London?

It seems to me that I couldn't have picked a better place to study English lit. Something about reading Shakespeare in his native England appeals to me. Not to mention the numerous book-related things to see, such as the Sherlock Holmes Museum, the British Library (the largest library-by number of catalogued items-in the world), Platform 9 3/4, and more!

A Little About Royal Holloway

Founded in 1886 as a college for women, Royal Holloway has since made a name for itself as one of the best undergraduate institutions in the UK. Now a coeducational university, it was ranked 12th in the UK by in the Time Higher Education World University Rankings, and placed as 5th in the world for international outlook. Out of 9,000 students, about 20 percent of them are from outside of the European Union.

I will admit that their pedigree is impressive, but honestly I'm more concerned with the fact that I get to live in this building:

The building I will live in. Me. Living there. For a semester.
My room will probably look something like this:
And I get the study in this library:

It's not quite Hogwarts, but I'll take it.

My Classes <
Since one of the big reasons students study abroad is to achieve understanding of how the education system works in different countries, I'm going to be taking three English classes:

Shakespeare -- This one is a basic introduction to Shakespeare's plays, starting with the comedies in the first half and closing out the semester with his later Jacobian works.

Modernist Fiction -- In this class I'll be reading a lot of Henry James, and Joseph Conrad, with a few other authors thrown in. Modernist generally isn't my favorite, but I hope I learn some things about it that will give me a better appreciation of these authors.

Strange Fictions: Romance in the Middle Ages -- Honestly, I have a reading list for this class but I'm still not even sure what it is I'll be reading besides Sir Gawain and the Green Knight. Nothing else is familiar.


I think Royal Holloway is a great fit for me, and that I will learn a lot in the short amount of time I have there. I'm very excited to move in and really see everything that I've read about online.

Until next time.

1 comment:

  1. So proud and envious! I hope you will love England as much as I do. I will be following your blog. Enjoy the knowledge you gain there. Much love, Mr. Downard


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