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Scholar Spotlight

Salem Zelalem, The London: Culture Past and Present program 

At first, I was hesitant about studying abroad to London. Three weeks seemed like an exorbitant amount of time to spend travelling with a group of strangers; I applied for the trip convinced it would be “good for me”, but had no idea how fundamentally life-changing the experience would become. The London: Culture Past and Present program, spearheaded by Professors Michael Levinson and Claire Kinney, was one of the most rewarding times I have yet to have as a student at this University.

It was immediately evident how important the city of London was to those running the program. From scaling St. Paul’s Cathedral, to punting across a river in Cambridge, to just visiting a local Pizza Hut, every moment was met with a real and genuine joyful optimism. This energy was infectious, and buoyed the group forward. Although we spent time in the classroom, the format was heavily discussion-based. Levenson and Kinney made it clear that they valued our input, and in such a small group they dispensed valuable insights often on a one-on-one basis. It was immensely valuable to have discussions with Professors over a meal, or while gripping the same pole on the Tube. Read more about Salem’s experience and photos here.