Why did you choose this program?
To retreat and deepen learning in a beautiful historic Cotswold setting that is a world apart, yet easily reached by public transport from London.
To be educated by top-notch British tutor specialists.
To let someone else do the organizing, all-inclusive.
Wonderful food provided, including customary English teatimes. Royally historic accommodations which are totally modernized with en suite bathrooms and WiFi available throughout the college. Day trips included.
Overall, peace of mind living and learning — it seemed at times like a fairytale.
What did your program provider (or university) assist you with, and what did you have to organize on your own?
Everything was planned and all-inclusive, allowing participants to relax and enjoy learning once at the college. Not included are flights overseas, any outside food or sight-seeing beyond the scheduled itinerary. The college, for more than 50 years owned by an American university, has a great track record of success and multiple affiliations to its great credit.
What is one piece of advice you'd give to someone going on your program?
Adopt an explorer’s mindset, willing to learn and experience beyond what is known and familiar. Go on all of the suggested trips (there is always something more to learn) and do all of the recommended reading so you are prepared to engage in tutorial questions and oral commentary. Surprises always present themselves, even in a chance conversation with a stranger.
Spend time walking the college’s beautiful 56 acres of centuries-old trees, gardens and swan-filled ponds with elegant names “Her Ladyship’s Pool.” If walking or running is your passion, invest in an Oxfordshire ordnance survey map. English countryside paths are much more accessible publicly than most Americans would think.
What does an average day/week look like as a participant of this program?
The schedule is prompt on a daily basis with set mealtimes. Morning and afternoon tea with biscuits are provided. Classroom curricula and meeting times are known in advance. Day trips to historic and cultural sites are sprinkled throughout the week, but known ahead of time for ease of planning and research. There is also built-in flexible free time to explore on your own.
Going into your experience abroad, what was your biggest fear, and how did you overcome it? How did your views on the issue change?
Customs regulations and entry process was our biggest concern, lacking recent experience.
Having U.S. Global Entry ID cards allowed exceptionally fast return state-side, but does not apply in London. That was disappointing to learn on the spot. Expect to stand and wait in line upon international arrival. Travel within Britain was amazingly easy, and the hospitality of transportation staff is courteous and helpful to tourists generally.