Wednesday, 25 February 2015

British Studies

Greetings!  My Name is Noah Richard and I am a University of Kentucky student in my second year.  I’m the only person from UK at Harlaxton College (I like to be different).  Despite going in this alone, I have enjoyed every second of my time here so far.

I study journalism and history at UK, so coming to Harlaxton with its focus on British History was great for my interests and also allowing me to stay on track curriculum wise.  Enough of the boring stuff.  My blog topic is British Studies.  Oh wait, that may in fact be more of the boring stuff (to those of you who aren’t a fan of history).

As many of you may already know, British Studies is a 6-hour class that covers the questions of British identity and what it means to be British.  That’s basically the entire history of one of the greatest countries in the world in a semester.  No big deal.

The idea of British Studies is great.  While spending your semester in England (a country in the United Kingdom), you get so much about the place you’re living.  Everything you see and every place you visit soon becomes much more than a sightseeing experience, it becomes living history that is palpable.

As you may be able to tell, I really love the class.  Not only am I interested in the subject, the great professors we have make it even more interesting to me and at least mildly entertaining to those who loath the class.

We have Dr. Edward Bujak (I also have him for World War II), Dr. Bianca Leggett (I am in her seminar/review class), Dr. Graham Baker and Dr. David Green that serve as our fearless educators. Each one of them is brilliant and hysterical. Even at 8:30 in the morning on Monday and Wednesday, they can even make the most mundane topic interesting.  Our professors even travel with us at times, acting as trip couriers on school-sponsored trips adding a bit more security and information to make travels successful.

British Studies is a real class though.  It covers lots of material very quickly.  And we have exams. Difficult ones. And term papers.  These less fun aspects of British Studies take up a lot of time, not to mention the readings and presentations that come weekly, but I can sense myself growing academically every week.  I can undoubtedly say that I would be lost in Britain without the knowledge we have gained thus far.

There’s something about being immersed in a foreign culture and learning about it at the same time.  That’s what set Harlaxton out from all the other study aboard programs.  It makes you dig deep into what it means to be in the United Kingdom and provides understanding beyond what you may see on the surface.  We’re not just having fun traveling.  We are having fun learning as well. Now, I'm off to prep for a presentation and study for a quiz, all due tomorrow (Wednesday)! 

(As you may see, we are very fond of our professors). Dr. Leggett is in the bottom left, Dr. Bujak is in the centre, Dr. Green is in the top right and Dr. Baker is in the bottom right next to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. (Photo credit: Jay Humphrey)

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