For three weeks this summer, 12 students participated in WWU’s biennial United Kingdom Tour, an opportunity to merge learning with traveling in England, Scotland, and Wales. The tour offered both upper- and lower-division history and English classes, all of which counted for general studies credit. The 2022 tour was led by Karen Clausen-Brown, former professor of English, and Greg Dodds, professor of history.
Students read and responded to poems, prose, plays, and stories from British history in their study for the tour classes. Led by Clausen-Brown and Dodds, students had the opportunity to tour the Tower of London, St. Paul’s Cathedral, Edinburgh Castle, Tintern Abbey, the Jane Austen House, the Bodleian Library, and many more sites that helped them to contextualize their reading. Students found connections to the present day from their experiences, and were able to see how history and literature are applied to modern issues.
“It was so fascinating to see history and literature come to life as we got to see so many important locations,” said Hannah Thornton, sophomore history and English major. Lodging destinations on the tour included the prestigious Queen’s College in Oxford, the University of Edinburgh, and the London School of Economics.
The tour visited a variety of historical and urban sites while spending ample time in the British countryside. From exploration of Scottish castles to hikes on the White Cliffs of Dover, students gained cultural and educational perspectives, which they outlined in their tour journals. Ashley Herber, junior business major, said, “Every day on the tour we did something completely new and exciting–it is hard to pick just one favorite. I suppose if I had to pick I’d say my favorite thing was experiencing Scotland’s beauty through its green hills, castles, sheep, and culture. I was really excited to see England before the trip so I was surprised and delighted that Scotland ended up being so amazing.”
The UK Tour is offered on an alternating basis with WWU’s Bible Lands Tour, which will happen next in summer 2023. Information sessions about the 2024 UK tour will begin in the spring of 2023. Dodds recommends the tour for students of any major who are interested in a multi-cultural learning experience and making new friends.
Posted Oct. 10, 2022