Student: Ashley Griffin, University of Texas at Tyler
Courses: Children's Lit, 2011
As a secondary teacher and former graduate student, the program and classes broadened my depth of English history and literature. I took back my experiences which I continue to talk about with friends and in the classroom with my middle school students. I can't put into words everything I learned about the literature, culture, and myself. With the British Children's Lit class, I didn't know so much was researched and analyzed with children's lit as we learned in that class traveling all over the UK. I loved exploring the creativity that the authors manifested from their inspirations and actual events I life. They wrote what they saw. Going to Oxford, Beatrix Potter's Hill Top residence, and Edinburgh were among my favorites. The Shakespeare class was amazing. Class was in a cafe or at a historical location. We stood as groundlings at the globe performances of the plays we studied. l I loved our trip to Edinburgh and seeing an original quarto and folio at the university. I researched Elizabethan sumptory statutes in the British Library using an original bound book dating in the late 1590s. To see and experience literature and history changed the content, my education, and my outlook. The professors did an amazing job with the students. The professors and members of staff are so positive that it helps ease any anxiety you may have about being overseas. They make the content enjoyable. Even professors of other classes were always ready to include you or help any way.
Student: Yolanda Cruz, Southern Miss
Course: Journalism, 2013
I loved the British Studies Program. It was so exciting to get to learn the field I am studying in a different country. It really helps a student gain a global perspective on the subject. I took the journalism class, and I was able to talk to people that were making it their career and what I needed to do to be successful in the field. It was so informational and really gave me hope for my future. The class wasn't the only thing I loved about the British Studies Program. Getting to experience a different city, a different culture, was truly amazing. I feel like I really grew up during that month abroad. I learned how to navigate a strange city using public transportation and gained the confidence to go out into the city by myself. Another amazing thing about studying in London is that it is a city so rich with history. I saw a building still scared from the World War II bombings. I saw the place where Anne Boleyn was beheaded. It is just so interesting to see all of this history and how modernization is happening around it, and yet it blends so well. London is just truly a unique city, and I encourage anyone and everyone to go. It is a unique experience to study a subject you love and to do it in one of the greatest cities in the world.
Student: Felicia Shepherd, Texas A&M Commerce
Course: Journalism, 2009
The below is taken from my last blog post before leaving London. It sums up m experience.
Wow! It has been a month since I got on the plane at DFW airport to sit on an 8-hour flight headed to a strange land. When I got here I was excited yet apprehensive because I wasn't sure what was in store for me. Now after 30 days, I know London like the back of my hand. How wonderful it is say that I adapted to the lingo, travel system (MIND THE GAP), British mannerisms and behaviors, and yes I adapted to the food. I have also had the time to reflect on who I am as a individual and what I need to do for me from this moment on. It has been a peaceful 30 days and even though it is time to return to the "real world", I can not ignore the peace and serenity London has given me. The walks in the parks or sitting along the river Thames gave me the opportunity to focus on myself and find inner peace that has been difficult for me to find over the years. So London was more than an educational experience. London was an interpersonal growth experience that I will bring back with me to the States. I will bring back with me the concept of "No Worries." I used to say it but as soon as a problem arises, I will be stressed about how to fix it. What this opportunity has done is to give me 30 days of personal uninterrupted time with God and as I talked to Him, I was also listening. My professor Maggie Williams was superb and I learned so much from her. A wonderful experience.
Student: Michelle Pontiff, Southern Miss
Course: Sport management, 2012
Hi all, I just wanted to express my gratitude towards the BSP program. I had one of the most amazing times in London. The city is truly magical, unlike any city I have been to in the States. The experiences I had studying abroad are unforgettable and irreplaceable. The friends I made and the laughs we shared just added to the best learning experience. I studied sport globalization with Dr. Phillips. England was a great spot to showcase the impact that sport has on the world. We went to places like Manchester United and NFL Europe. Dr. Phillips makes the trip even more enjoyable with his knowledge of the area and the field. I would do it again in a heartbeat.
Student: Autumn Brown, Southern Miss
Course: Business, 2011
There are no words to accurately capture what you will experience during the British Studies program. Do you make lifelong friends you wouldn't have otherwise met? Sure. Do you earn 6 hours of college credit? You betcha! Do you get to see places you may otherwise never get the chance? Of course! But it's SO much more than that. Not only do you learn about other cultures, other places, other people; you learn so much about yourself. You grow as an individual by putting yourself into situations that may otherwise be outside your comfort zone, but since you're in a foreign country and don't know these people and will likely never see them again, you go for it anyway. You truly LIVE. And THAT is worth more than any college credit you'll ever earn.
Student: Sean Martin, Southern Miss
Course: Journalism, 2013
The British Studies Program was one of the best educational experiences in my life. As a graduate student I never had the time or opportunity to study abroad therefore I took this as my second chance to study abroad. In one month I learned so much about journalism and public relations than I had in the four years of my undergraduate degree. Furthermore the experiences and interaction I was able to have with people all over the world was truly an experience that enhanced to the diversity of my education and the media industry.
Student: Arlicia McGhee-Jordan, Southern Miss
Course: Journalism, 2012
British Studies was the best decision I could have ever made in my life. It was an once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, and I didn’t want to let it pass me by. To spend a whole month in London and to experience and live in another culture other than my own was an awesome experience. I was amazed with the people, the architecture, the beautiful parks and gardens, and the array of entertainment you can partake in. London lacks nothing, and it is honestly a world in one city. I really appreciate Southern Miss for offering this phenomenal program that exposes students to a new country, a new way of thinking, and a new appreciation for living. Not only was I able to visit London, I also was able to travel to Paris, France and Dublin, Ireland! How many people do you know can say that they’ve done that? Other than family and friends that are in the military, I was the first brave enough to do it, and I wouldn’t have it any other way! I saw with my very own eyes famous landmarks that others have only seen in pictures: the Tower of London, the Eiffel Tower, Buckingham Palace and so much more! If you have the opportunity to go on the British Studies Program, do yourself a favor and just do it! Don’t let money discourage you; that’s what financial aid is for. Opportunities like these are rare! Trust me, I know. And as soon as I’m given another chance to revisit London, I am there without a moment’s hesitation.
Student: Emily Huffman, Southern Miss
Course: Children's Lit, 2010
The British Studies Program was one of the best experiences of my life. I didn't just study children's literature with a fantastic teacher; I got to visit the place each book was written. I got to take my picture at Platform 9 3/4. I got to explore the Hundred Acre Wood. I got to have lunch where J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis used to meet. Not only did my course give incredible insight into the lives of British authors, it also allowed me to explore modern London,Edinburgh, and even Paris. My days were filled with museums, trains, parks, and shopping, and my nights were filled with warm tea and good books. I fell so in love with the United Kingdom that I moved to England for my graduate studies, and I couldn't be happier. The British Studies Program changed my life tremendously for the better. If you have an opportunity to join BSP, do it.
Student: Kristen Allen, Southern Miss
Course: Children's Literature, Summer 2011
BSP allowed me to visit the country I've been dreaming about for years. It allowed me to see the pages of the books I love so much come to life -- we got to explore Kensington Gardens with Peter Pan and travel the Lake District with Peter Rabbit. On my minibreak I got to take Harry Potter's journey back from Scotland to King's Cross (complete with sandwiches my "Scottish mom" packed for me.)
But in addition to that, BSP allowed me to gain the kind of confidence I never thought I'd have. London became my city; I was no longer a tourist, but felt like I had complete ownership of it. I needed to get back from St. Paul's to King's College? It was a nice day, why not grab a coffee and stroll along the Thames? Discover a cool band on Portabello Road? Why not get some friends together to check out their concert later that week? BSP gave me the confidence to do anything and the ability to see everything. It showed me that the world is big and full of amazing opportunities just waiting to be had, as long as you're willing to take them.
Student: Tabitha Ward, Southern Miss
Course: Business, Summer 2013
Going on the BSP 2013 trip was one of the best decisions I have ever made. I was reluctant at first because I am married with kids, so leaving family for an entire month was nothing I had ever done or even thought of doing. I was highly encouraged by my hubby and family, so off on the adventure I went. Let me tell you it was an adventure! I was an accounting major and had my eyes opened to an entire new view of business. We visited businesses from the U.K. to Belgium and many places in between. We had speakers speak to us that not only spoke of international business but also tied it back to the United States and even my little state of Mississippi. I never realized how much impact the choices our country makes impacts the entire world's economy. In theory I somehow knew but seeing and hearing it just puts it in a completely different light. I not only loved the educational part; I have made contacts that have hopefully opened a chance for me to work internationally in the future.
Now on to the "non educational" part. I put this in quotation marks because I learned so much about myself on this trip. I'm a relatively shy person and tend to stay in safe known places. This trip brought me out of my shell completely. Within a week I was traveling the Tube by myself feeling completely safe and totally in my element. I made friends that I will probably have for life. I came to think of London and King's College as home. I went to Paris on the weekend away. I spent the 4th of July weekend in Paris!!! Who does that??? This girl did. I saw Belgium, Holland, Spain, and Italy! All because I took the leap into the unknown and went on this trip! When people say this trip is life-changing they are not being all cliche and trying to convince you to take the trip. I seriously from the bottom of my heart say this trip changed my life. If I could take this trip every summer, I would. There is so much more to see and do! I've made plans to revisit Europe very very soon!
Student: Cierra Hodo, Southern Miss
Course: Entertainment industry, Summer 2012
I've started my senior year now, and I'm being told over and over again that, "It's not what you know, it's who you know," and I'm finding that to be true on by the day. The British Studies Program not only enriched my knowledge of the entertainment industry, but also provided a massive networking web for me that I still feel comfortable accessing. At USM in class, we mainly study the recording industry, but abroad, we covered so much more. We covered bits of the film, advertising, and sports entertainment industries. We met with businesses in all facets of the entertainment industry, from recording, to publishing, to distribution, to more cutting edge businesses like Spotify.
However, I think what I've taken away most from the British Studies Program were the relationships that my classmates and I developed with each other. We ended up being a pretty tight-knit group, so the British Studies Program helped provide me with close friends in South Carolina and Texas that I still keep in touch with regularly. It strengthened my relationships with my fellow Southern Miss classmates who were also doing the program as well. It gave me the confidence to succeed on campus when I got back when I started working with South City Records. It also equipped me with the assurance that there are careers in the entertainment industry that I'm prepared for.
Student: Jeffrey Brown, Southern Miss
Courses: Political science (2006); World War II (2007)
Prior to participating in the British Studies Program, I had not traveled out of the country or ever been on an airplane. Luckily that did not stop me because the experience was nothing short of life-changing. Not only did I make a lot of friends and learn more than I ever could have just sitting in a classroom, but the experience gave me a passion for traveling and the confidence to do things I never imagined - including moving to a developing country for Peace Corps. The program is expertly run, and I liked it so much I had to do it twice!
Student: Sabrina Lannes, Southern Miss
Course: Shakespeare, Summer 2013
The British Studies program was a lot of firsts for me. The first time I was out of the country, the first time I was away from my parents for more than a week, the first time I ever traveled alone, and the first time I saw any of the Shakespeare plays on stage. It was one of the most empowering and enjoyable experiences I ever had. Before this program I would never have thought I could manage money like I did, or travel in four different countries by myself without something going terribly wrong. Besides that, it was just plain fun. London is such an amazing city with so much to see and do, and I will never forget to amazing days I had going around museums with my class, eating dinner in pubs with my friends and seeing the plays I had read and loved so much come to life right in front of me in these amazing, unforgettable performances. There's no way any class or program here in Hattiesburg could ever really measure up to British Studies.
Student: Travis Ulrich, Southern Miss
Course: Business, Summer 2013
I'd like to consider myself one of the "success stories" of the British Studies Program. I vividly remember professors and students coming into my classes trying to explain why the program is such a good idea and how much it would impact my life. As most students did, I almost immediately dismissed the idea and wished that they would wrap up the presentation quickly so I could get out of class earlier. I never even gave the idea a chance until the spring of 2013.
My Consumer Behavior professor, Dr. Jamye Foster, was going to be teaching the Marketing/Management class. Of course, she was trying to promote the British Studies Program to all of her students, but somehow she must have seen my hidden desire to go on the program.
At this point it is very important to mention how I was absolutely NOT planning on going on the program (I feel like I lose "man points" every time I tell this story, but it is important if it helps others make the decision to go). I had never spent more than three days away from my family by myself. I consider myself a very social and outgoing person, however, I never felt comfortable leaving my comfort zone - the Hattiesburg area. If my friends wanted to spend the weekend on the Gulf Coast or even make a trip to New Orleans I would always come up with some excuse to stay in Hattiesburg. I just did not feel comfortable leaving. However...
Dr. Foster would constantly let me know when the meetings were, how to apply for scholarships, and essentially tell me it would be one of the best things I would ever do. I would always give her the "Oh, okay! Well I might see you there then!" and almost as soon as I turn away, I would mutter under my breath, "Ha, yeah right."
The days until the deadline for applying were diminishing quickly. As the date got closer, I kept having this feeling that I would regret not going on the British Studies Program for the rest of my life. Not very many people get an opportunity like this, and my parents (I thank them so much for this) would help me financially and support any decision I made. I began speaking with professors that had no affiliation with the program. I asked them if they thought it would be worth it to study abroad. Would I learn anything? Will it separate me from other job applicants in a future interview? These were a few of the questions I had.
When I spoke with Dr. Bill Smith, he gave me a surprising answer that I hadn't expected. He told me that the biggest thing you learn on a study abroad experience is yourself. He sees students that have studied abroad and come back as totally different people. They are much more confident in themselves because they are put in a new culture that is completely different from what they are used to. Decisions, whether good or bad, must be made to get to your destination. You learn from your mistakes, and take all that knowledge home with you at the end of the program.
It was at this point I made the decision that I was going to apply to go on the British Studies Program. By the time I came to this conclusion, it was the last day to submit an application. It was the hardest and best decision I have made in my 22-year life.
I could honestly write a book about every aspect of the British Studies Program that influenced me. You will meet people that will become friends for the rest of your life. You will go on trips that span England and, in the Marketing/Management class, go to Belgium and the Netherlands as well. I traveled to Rome and Athens on the five-day mini-break with people that I had met on the trip. There is so much stuff that I did on my British Studies experience that it would take another several pages to explain it all (I would be more than happy to write more if you would like). The worst part of the program? It only lasts one month. By the end of the time in England I was a fluent Tube rider (people even asked me - an American - for directions!), knew which places were the best food joints, and had learned so much about international business that it was hard to take it all in.
Going on the British Studies Program was the best time of my life. I learned so much about myself. I learned that the worrying about leaving my comfort zone was just plain silly. If I can survive, and have a blast, 4,536 miles from home for a month I can do just about whatever I want to - and you can too.
I absolutely loved the course and the experience of studying Shakespeare right there on the south bank of the Thames. That trip was one of the best decisions I have made, and I'd do it again in a second!
I am a design major, and I strongly urge anyone with a visual degree to experience London! I know that it sounds like so much money and time and hard work, but trust me and everyone else who has gone that it is so worth it. You'll miss it and want to go back as soon as your feet are on U.S. soil again! It's more than going to learn about the history, or the culture, or the art; it's about learning how to find your way and trust yourself when you're alone in a large city. It helped me become a more independent person, and realize that exploring with no map and no agenda is almost better than having a plan. I may not have gone to see the changing of the guard, but I sure had a better lunch at a hole-in-the-wall cafe during a flower festival than many other people! Spend the money, the time, and the hard work and go to London because you'll never regret it, and you'll never forget it.
Course: Library Science, 2013
Studying British Libraries with Dr. Welsh has been easily one of the most relevant and useful courses I have taken as part of my master's program. It is my eventual goal to move to the UK, earn an additional degree in archival studies, and work in archives in the UK. This course offered me the chance to explore a multitude of options once I eventually get back there. It was also a chance to me to network with other librarians in my field at home. The group we had in our class was simply wonderful -- everyone had something unique to bring to the discussion.
Student: Alicea Porterfield-Brock, Queens College
Course: Library Science, 2010
It is nearly impossible to describe that month I spent in London back in 2010. It has always been my dream to live in London, and so when I saw the opportunity for a study abroad there for a month I didn't even hesitate. It never occurred to me to discuss it with my boss or my college adviser (I had just started my master's at that time). It was a decision I can never regret because it was amazing. The places we visited, the history, the friends that I made (and still keep in touch with!) all combined to create something that I will never forget. I am so thankful that I got the opportunity to go and I recommend it to anyone who wants an adventure that will stay with them for the rest of their life.
Student: Jade Kwong, Simmons College
Course: Library Science, 2010
The short version: WOW. The long version: What an experience it was. All the stops in the course were amazing. Met some amazing people with whom I still remain in touch with. It was also the first time I went off alone and to another country. The course is what you make of it. It could be an immense look at particular type of library or archive. It could a good general overview of all types of libraries, archives and record centers to help guide one in the direction of their studies. Some even view it as an educational vacation. What you get is what you put in. It is an amazing class that exposes one to a broader way of thinking. More of a global and international movement and collaboration to make an universal system. I'm glad I took the time and expense to go. It was absolutely worth it. I wished I had more time to do more then.
Student: Jake Munn, Southern Miss
Course: Marketing, 2011
My experience with the British Studies Program was life changing. During my stay in London, I was able to visit prestigious business companies, see historical sites, and live the life of a Londoner for a month. It opened my eyes to the world outside of the United States and helped me better understand cultures unlike my own. If it wasn't for the British Studies Program, I would not be in studying for my master's in International Marketing in London right now. It truly shaped my future in ways that I never thought possible.