My decision to study abroad at King’s College was a multi-faceted one and was heavily tied to the uni’s wide array of classes, societies, and clubs. As an American Culture Studies major, I knew that I wanted to take advantage of learning about American culture in a new environment to broaden my viewpoint beyond an American perspective.
I quickly found that there were several module options for my major that addressed US history in a different manner than courses I had taken at WashU and I found a course that specifically applied to my interest in US Slavery. In addition to the ability to take niche classes, I was also able to broaden my understanding of my studies through collaboration with other students and a more independent study style. As a student taking classes in a different country, I continually found myself asking other students about the types of modules they typically took and for their personal opinions on what we were studying. This was the most interesting in modules like Trinity in the Recent Theology as religion tends to be inherently personal and is often hard to discuss. I found these conversations to be difficult at times but also enriching, it forced me to consider how accustomed I have become to a certain type of thinking back at my home uni, but also how we are all influenced by our individual environments, upbringings and the people we surround ourselves with. As a result, I found myself asking questions I might not have thought of otherwise and strengthened my independent research.
I also found my study habits to be much more independent than at WashU, I think part of this is because the module schedules required less class time than I was used to, but the time that I wasn’t in-class was often used reviewing class content and preparing for weekly seminars. One of the benefits to this was not only further improving the time management skills that I have developed through college but studying abroad is also about learning outside of the classroom.
There were always society and club events taking place and I found these interactions added to my awareness and understanding of what I was studying in the classroom because I had a more holistic view of the environment I was in.
As I look ahead to my senior year I feel incredibly well equipped to work on my culminating projects for American Culture Studies and Religious Studies. The modules at King’s allowed me to explore these fields through a unique lens which compliments my past studies but also inspired me to ask challenging questions as I conduct research in the future. I truly believe that this experience has not only benefited my current academic studies but has also prepared me to adapt to new learning environments post-undergrad.