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Across the Pond

Where in the World is Widener?

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London, England

Nicolina Givin, '14 English major from West Deptford, N.J., spent the spring semester of her junior year studying at Royal Holloway University.

By Nicolina Givin ’14

When I first arrived in London, I was amazed at the sight of everything. I was completely distraught and felt lost and alone with a major case of homesickness. But once I opened up and became more involved in the culture around me, it became my second home. 

Hearing “Mind the Gap” became a ritual in mornings. Getting lost in Piccadilly Circus and ending up in front of Buckingham Palace or walking through Hyde Park towards Knightsbridge to shop at Harrods were daily activities while throwing coins in Trafalgar Square fountains and shopping on Regent Street were sunny weather ideals. Apart from being an avid tea drinker and going off on adventures, I took seminars and lectures that gave me an in-depth look at British literature and the impact it had on society and the world around us.

Spot On Learning

Apart from literature, my Contemporary Theory in Literary Debates class stepped outside that boundary and talked about bigger topics such as Marxism, Freud, feminism, post colonialism, deconstruction, and ideology and the relationship it holds with literature and the reader. These topics have given me the outside-the-box perspective on how we can analyze what lies between the texts and the targets they pursue.

My Intensive Shakespeare class had me analyze three of Shakespeare’s most treasured plays: Macbeth, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and Richard III. I received a better understanding of the focus that Shakespeare was trying to portray to his audience and how these themes reflect current issues in literature today. My last class, Sociology of Popular Music, gave me a history lesson of music dating back to the 1800s all the way to today’s era in Britain. 

Having this unforgettable opportunity has taught me so much and has given me access to the most incredible sights and places. Widener helped prepare me for what English literature stands for and how it influences today’s society in literature. By traveling to England and receiving an in-depth look on the importance of literature, it makes learning and experiencing new things in the English realm of literature and art so much more enthralling