What Participants Have to Say about the Experience
Catherine Ku '14: "This as been one of my favorite courses at Princeton. I really benefited from the intimacy of the course and the attention we received, as well as being situated in London. Moreover, the outside cultural activities (plays, diners, tours, etc.) made the experience all the more enriching."
Abigail Williams '14: "The Princeton course taught by Professor Chaudhary was everything I could ever want from a junior seminar. The course was focused on "Global London," which was a great concept to immerse us both in the physical city and in its literature. Professor Chaudhary taught us to ask the right questions when reading our novels, and the discussions in our seminars were very productive. He improved my writing abilities, and I was very proud of of my junior paper as a result."
Chelsea Mayo '14: "Some of the UCL students in my seminars were particularly engaged and seemed very very knowledgeable and well-researched on the topic being discussed, different than the way I'd expect to see this at Princeton, and at times almost on part with the professor leading the seminar. I attributed this to the fact that in the U.K., English students have been concentrating in English since their first year and so thus are more versed on the subjects that I could be after a few weeks. This was intimidating at times, but by no means overly stifling and it was encouraging to see students who genuinely understood the topic beyond the scope of the assigned reading."
Emma Boettcher '14: "UCL emphasizes self-directed learning (there's not a lot of contact hours), so as long as you're willing to put in your own time, you can gain a lot from the classes. I felt the tutorial system helped me become a better writer, and I even asked my tutor for non-UCL advice."
Vivienn Chen '14: "The courses were extremely independent--allowing me time to actually pursue research in a way I never had at Princeton. I had the time to spend really developing and planning out a paper--rather than being assigned a topic and churning one out because I've been so focused on other work. I was incredibly compatible with the British education system from an independent research standpoint. The courses themselves were an okay fit for me--better in that lectures were structured base don interest, so I essentially chose which lectures to attend based on my research, and I found the "precept" tutorials moderately helpful. But for me, the one-on-one interaction with tutors and advisers is definitely the way I prefer to learn."
Melissa Kim '13: "It was absolutely fantastic to see London. I think it's always a good idea to go abroad and be independent, to get a feel for a different culture, and as an English student, London was the obvious choice. The city offers so many things to do--shows, galleries, museums, etc.--that really encouraged my personal and cultural growth. Academically, it was great to soak in the history and the literature around the city. It's one thing to read a Shakespeare play, and another to see it live. It's one thing to read about London, and another entirely to walk through the city yourself."
Annabelle Ford '13: "As expected, the academic environment was very different from what I was accustomed to at Princeton. While it was difficult to get used to the independent nature of the work, it was very rewarding overall, as I learned to write research papers on my own with little to no instruction or guidance. It was an important skill to learn and I am much more confident when it comes to writing hefty assignments. The tutorial system is the most helpful part of the educational process. In addition, I loved the seminar; the small group of six students and Professor Danson were really special; everybody felt comfortable contributing. "
Alexandra Hay '12: "I really enjoyed the readings [in the seminar with Professor DiBattista], and the fact that I recognized most of the London locations mentioned in them was exciting! All of the field trips were superb; the Noel Coward play we saw was excellent, and the trip to Greenwich lovely."
Laura Keeling '12: "London is an amazing city and has tons of resources/opportunities, both academic and otherwise. I really liked having a Princeton professor with s, and having one Princeton class while being able to take actual classes at UCL as well."
Aryln Katen '12: "Spending a semester in London was a life-altering experience for me. It also jolted my creativity. I came home with the desire to write. And I can't stress this enough--the junior seminar with Professor DiBattista made me appreciate literature and is connections to the authors' communities in entirely new ways. I would have enjoyed this as a Princeton course, but taking this in London was a wonderful opportunity. Overall, I'm extremely happy that I participated in the London program."
Genevieve Benz '12: "London is an incredible city to study abroad in and my course of study perfectly coordinated with the location. I lived in a very historically important and literary neighborhood and it added a lot to my experience. I really enjoyed the tutorial system and the personal interactions I had with my professors. I was able to make British friends. Study abroad as one of the better decisions I have made while at Princeton."
Donna Park '12: "Academically, it was great that we could actually use London as a backdrop for our seminar on Modernist London and well as my other courses in British literature and art. I felt that the courses really took advantage of what the city has to offer. I also tried to experience London outside of the academic world and had an amazing time."
Jessica Yanovsky '12: "Being in England was really special for studying British literature because many of the subtleties of the literature make more sense in their cultural context. I learned a lot about my own abilities to go to new and unfamiliar places, even where I didn't know the language, and get around, do interesting things, meet people, and handle just about any situation."