One Student’s Take on a Worldly Experience: England

by DEIRDRE LEDLEY, Contributer

While other MC students enjoyed being home and off duty during the Christmas break, 12 female students embarked on a journey that took them across seas to London, England for an up-close learning experience.

For two weeks, these 12 students traveled alongside Heidi Laudien, Ph.D, who started this program as one of the first intercession trips. For her tenth year doing the program, she brought famous British literature to life once more that stuck with sophomore English major, Christina Harney.

“What was really cool was the fact that we read all these plays by famous playwrights at night, and then the next morning we would wake up and see them be performed live. As a student, I have never experienced that before,” Harney said.

Laudien described the course as Literary London. Her main goal for the course was to study these works and then the next day show the girls where they were originally produced. For example, they read “Julius Caesar” and then went to the famous Globe Theatre, where Shakespeare’s first performances were shown.

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Sophomore Christina Harney traveled alongside Heidi Laudien, Ph.D, in London, England. CHRISTINA HARNEY / COURTESY

Harney expressed her fascination about witnessing some classic literature that she read in high school be displayed right in front of her in a country that she had never traveled alone to.

Manhattan offers these two week programs for eager students willing to cross borders and see what they learn in class come alive right in front of them. Some students choose to go abroad for a whole semester, but these two week programs give the perfect amount of taste to a new environment.

“My favorite location we went to was Bath. It was such a cute town. The Roman Baths are beautiful and it was so cool to see in person,” said Harney.

This trip let 12 girls really get to know each other and form a bond as they lived in tight quarters for two weeks straight. Going to a foreign country alone can be kind of nerve wracking although, all the girls were in the same boat.

Because the trip only had girls attending, no one felt left out. They came back with pictures and stories to share with friends and family. On top of that, they also received a memorable trip with a credit under their belt.

“I have never flown on a plane by myself before and definitely did not travel to a different country alone so I was pretty nervous. But I trusted myself to go because I knew all the girls were coming from MC. Everyone was so nice that we all connected easily, even with Dr. Laudien, she was so easy and fun to be around,” said Harney.

Because these trips last only 14 days, the trip goes by fast and you are constantly on the go the entire time. The students really indulge themselves into the culture and sights that they see while being there.

“I did not feel like I did not have enough time to finish my work while still wanting to sightsee. The course is designed to make sure you have time for everything plus a little extra left over,” Harney said.

The attendees really get their money’s worth being away because they were occupied by everything they had to visit before they return home.

College students tend to look forward to time off during breaks so having to do school work especially during the Christmas break could turn away possible students. Harney, however, had a different opinion on the matter.

“One of the best two weeks of my college career,” said Harney. “I would absolutely go again and do as many as I possibly can. You learn so much in such a short amount of time and being an English major, the trip was well worth it.”