October 10, 2012 by Skyler Paltell
Those of us in Williamsburg, or basically anywhere in the Mid-Atlantic region, know that the last few days have been rainy, cold, and reminiscent of January. Of course today is lovely, which is perfect just in time for the Dalai Lama’s visit to campus today! But Sunday through Tuesday I basically refused to leave my bed, since I am morally opposed to cold weather. And of course, when one is refusing to leave their bed, they’re generally spending a lot of time on the Internet—which is exactly what I did. For once, though, I wasn’t watching Netflix—I was researching study abroad opportunities.
Study abroad is a topic that I tell all of my tours about, since it is a fantastic opportunity to see the world while you’re still young and on your parents’ bill (sorry Mom and Dad). W&M has programs with 15 partner universities across the world, many of them in Europe, which can provide you with credit hours and tuition that is cheaper or less than W&M’s tuition. I’ve had my eye on England for years now because, as we all know, everything awesome comes out of England–Florence + the Machine, the Olympics, heck even William & Mary was chartered in England. The Romans thought it was cool enough to settle there thousands of years ago, before Germanic tribes decided it was just too beautiful to share.
Part of what draws me to England is its extensive and well-preserved history—the same thing that attracted me to W&M several years ago. And while I love Colonial Williamsburg and all of the history found here, America is a relatively new country, and our 400 years of history cannot compare to the thousands of years of archeological evidence that Britain has amassed. Between the beautiful cathedrals, crumbling castles, awe-inspiring Roman ruins, and famous literature, England is the absolute dream of an English major/Anthropology minor like myself. Not to mention that my parents are pretty excited, since tuition in England is significantly less expensive than W&M out-of-state tuition and they’re essentially getting a $25,000 discount.
I finally nailed down the exact location where I would like to study: the University of Exeter in Exeter, England. It is close to a beach, a few hours from Oxford and London, and quiet—but not too quiet. It’s basically like the Charlottesville of England, except imagine the mountains are a beach. In addition to a thriving arts culture (former art school student, here) Exeter even has a medieval cathedral, which I’m pretty excited about! Better yet, England has an abundance of gluten-free restaurants and foods, so I know I won’t have to worry about food. Basically it looks fantastic and I can’t wait to apply, though I’m still trying to decide between studying in the fall or spring of next year.
The irony, of course, is that England is notoriously cold and rainy. But so worth it!