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Study Abroad and Domestic Study Away

Notes from Abroad: Jonathan in England

Jonathan Call ’20, a double major in English Literature and Education, studied at the ISEP program at the University of Roehampton in London, England

One of the amazing parts of studying abroad is the new perspective on your own education. In the city of London, I was able to get this new perspective in two ways: in the classroom and in the city. Through the opportunities at the University of Roehampton, I was able to take two creative writing courses, which is something I love, but have a hard time finding room in my course schedule for. At Lake Forest, creative writing courses are exploratory, where students can write broadly and explore their ideas. At Roehampton, however, I learned about structuring stories, where we had to write creatively, but in a strict format. This helped me become more aware of the work every single word did for the story and helped me understand how an engaging story can develop.

 

Being able to witness the literary history of London and other cities helped me apply my English knowledge concretely. In London, I was able to see a Shakespeare play, examine rough drafts from Sylvia Plath and Ian Fleming in the British Library, and stand in the Poet’s corner of Westminster Abbey. I visited the James Joyce museum in Dublin and sat in a pub mentioned in a short story of his. I had read George Elliot’s “The Lifted Veil” for my Victorian Lit class and, when I stood at the edge of the Charles Bridge in Prague, I suddenly realized that I had the same view that Latimer had at one point in the story. Reading literature and finding time to write is always great; but when you’re able to explore the places authors you love talk about, it really brings these stories to life.

 

I’d like to thank ISEP for the airfare award which helped me have such an experience. I will always remember it.