Dickinson College Humanities Program in Norwich

What’s Ahead?!

April 23, 2009 · 25 Comments

The semester is not yet over, but you have already been thinking ahead to next year. Module selections are complete; orientation is over; lots of paperwork has been filled out. Now we await visas! But first, we have technology training sessions and a cookout at my house. Then you’ll go your separate ways and await a syllabus and LOTS of reading for the summer before you arrive in London on 20 August. So, tell us what you are expecting in London and Norwich. What do you most look forward to? What are you hoping to learn? What are you anxious about? What hobbies or interests do you hope to continue? What is something new that you hope to try? This is our opening for the blog, and the beginning of your  participation in our collective learning experience. I look forward  to a fun, exciting, and  EDUCATIONAL year ahead. Fasten your seatbelt; it is gonna happen fast!

Categories: Professor Qualls

25 responses so far ↓

  •   fitzgerald // Apr 27th 2009 at 23:04

    Well, I am obviously quite excited for the summer reading. However, I am personally looking forward to London and Norwich. I expect lots of random mini-adventures while in London and Norwich and cannot wait to explore both, no matter how many times I get lost. Without a doubt, I look forward to meeting the British students at UEA, and not simply because of their accents. Whether its through pubs, clubs or classes, I cannot wait to interact with them. Though this will all be a completely new experience, I am only anxious about getting along with my roommates…and learning to cook for myself. Since we will be at a university, I would really like to join some of the many clubs they have, which will be a great way to meet people as well. Lastly, I cannot wait to travel to mainland Europe over breaks and random weekends. Hopefully I’ll learn something along the way.

  •   roseam // Apr 29th 2009 at 22:04

    Because this is my first experience going abroad, I’m nervous about being away from my friends and family, as well as adjusting to the customs and culture of a new place. I’m also wary about cooking for myself and expect to eat a LOT of pasta in the coming months. 🙂

    Still, I look forward to the knowledge and growth I’ll gain from doing something entirely new. I’m excited to explore London, Norwich, and the myriad of other places to which I hope to travel. I definitely want to go to Italy and assess how much of the language I’ve forgotten since last year. Even though I love Dickinson, I think it will be fun to attend a new university and gain a new perspective on the college experience (which, I assume, is different overseas than in America). I’m also very excited to meet new people from other countries and see how our lives are similar (or different). I hope to join clubs and maybe try some new sports and be a part of a team, or at least make new friends at pubs or in classes. Basically, I’m ready to try something new and different from what I’ve known.

  •   allisonmschell5 // May 3rd 2009 at 14:34

    Let me just start this out saying that it wasn’t until the other day that I actually realized Norwich is about 3 1/2 months away! I had been so busy with writing papers and studying that I hadn’t had time to sit and think and get excited about studying abroad! So to help with procrastination from studying, I decided to sit and think about Norwich.

    I am really excited to meet all sorts of new people in all the places we will be traveling to and in Norwich. I am also really interested in getting involved with the community and hopefully getting the opportunity to volunteer or work with some local historic site. One thing I know I am not looking forward to is the weather because I hate rain, wind, and chilly temperatures. Despite the bad weather, I’ll be in England and that just might beat a nice day in Pennsylvania. We’ll see if this thought changes after months of this weather when I’m abroad. I hope that I can keep up with my German and all the forms of dance that I do here at Dickinson. I am just overall, looking forward to submerging myself in the English culture and learning as much as I can. The next class I will be taking will be in England!

  •   becca136 // May 8th 2009 at 02:59

    I have never been on a plane let alone out of the country, so this is kinda a big deal for me. I will be in disbelief until we take off. I have no idea what to expect, but I am ready for whatever comes my way. I have no problem being away from home but the 5 hour time difference does make me a little nervous. I love to cook, so I am excited to eat my own meals instead of cafe food. I am really excited to meet people and to try new things. I am also very excited to join some of the ‘societies’ at UEA (I’ve done a little research and found out that they have a windsurfing society, a sailing society, and a sky diving society). The classes I signed up for all seem really interesting but I am anxious and a little nervous to discover how the classes are taught. I have never been in a class with over 100 students, and the idea of such a large class kinda scares me. In general though I still can’t believe I’m going to England!!!

  •   kstaab77 // May 14th 2009 at 13:16

    I’m not entirely sure what to expect from London and Norwich! I know that I’m excited to learn and emerse myself in new cultures as well as soak up the touristy sights and sounds. I’m a bit hesitant about having to make my own meals, but it’s also kind of exciting to try local recipies and delicacies. Quite surprisingly, I’m looking forward to the weather! I used to live in a temperate, rainy climate and I miss it! (Please note that this opinion might change after a few days/weeks/months in England.)

    I’ve only glanced over the list of clubs and organizations at UEA, but I was interested to see ones like Table Tennis and Debating. I’m also really looking forward to random pub quizzes. I love trivia and think that they’re great for getting to know all sorts of people. Overall, I can’t wait to get on the plane!

  •   hankreas12 // May 15th 2009 at 00:40

    I’m excited about a whole lot of things next year. I have never been to England (or Europe) before so I am excited about being immersed in a whole new culture and learning about that culture firsthand. In addition I am actually excited to cook my own meals and be completely responsible for more things in my life then ever before. I’m excited about the opportunities to travel both through the program and on my own. I am also excited about getting involved at UEA, joining societies, participating in events at the SportsPark and meeting all kinds of new and unique individuals.

    I am nervous about leaving my family and my friends here for such a long time but I know that my experience abroad will be incredibly worthwhile and something I may never get to do again. Therefore I plan on taking full advantage of everything UEA and England has to offer. Three more months!

  •   kgzell // May 15th 2009 at 11:28

    I can’t believe that England is only three months away! I’ve always wanted to study abroad, but it now it’s really happening… I think the only thing I’m not looking forward to is packing for a year…. in two suitcases. But I have all summer to practice. I love meeting new people, and this is the perfect opportunity! I’m excited to meet my flatmates once we get to UEA, and also to join some clubs…. anyone else interested in field hockey? I’m looking forward to cooking my own meals and I hope I can learn some new recipes from my classmates. The courses I’ve signed up for sound AMAZING, and I really hope I get my top choices. New friends, new clubs, new classes….I can’t wait to be a “fresher.”

    However, I am also a bit nervous about being away from my family for such a long time. This will be my first time traveling without my family. As much as I’d like to think I can handle it, it will be a test of my independence, and a true taste of “the real world.” I can’t wait to explore England and the rest of Europe next year. This opportunity may never present itself again, so I plan on taking full advantage of everything England has to offer! Next stop… LONDON!

  •   patsy // May 19th 2009 at 10:40

    The moment I stepped on to Dickinson campus I knew that not only did I want to study abroad but I HAD to! I felt as though a huge part of my education would suffer if i didn’t take advantage of such a wonderful opportunity. With that said, I am now absolutely thrilled to be going to Norwich. I have traveled to Europe twice before, but for quick school trips, the usual brief tourist stuff. Now that it is only a few months away, I cant help but inform every person I walk by (at least it seems like that many people), that I will be venturing almost 6,000 miles away from sunny Phoenix, Arizona to, what I know to be a quite rainy Norwich, England.

    I could probably write for hours on this subject, but to refrain from letting anyone’s eyes glaze over, I will keep it to a minimum. There are many things I look forward to about attending the university in Norwich. First I am most thrilled to take classes about British and European history. Since it has become my focus within my major I am interested to receive new incite from individuals who grew up learning this specific material. Second, one of the many reasons I chose the Norwich program was the opportunity to live with all British students! I can not wait to live in a flat with other students, primarily because I think it will push me out of my comfort zone and force me to create friendships I would otherwise have not made. Lastly, I can not wait to travel. There are so many places I would like to see, and I WILL see them all. So this got rather long, I apologize if that is obnoxious but im just so excited!

    Who knows if I will even come back…….

  •   abarron76 // May 19th 2009 at 11:32

    I have been to three countries: United States, Israel, and Canada. So basically I have been to two countries. Many students get the opportunity to travel abroad with their families or high schools. Unfortunately, us Barrons have never had the chance to do so, and the quality of my high school was laughable. As a result, I have been itching to travel through Europe since as long as I can remember. Having the opportunity to not just travel, but to live in the UK for such a long time is absolutely thrilling.

    Without a doubt I will travel. We have two month-long breaks during the year; who would want to just hang out in the concrete jungle that is UEA? Italy is my primary goal, considering how I have taken three semesters of the language.

    I recommend that everyone checks out http://www.couchsurfing.com. Since we are all poor college students who (hopefully) want to travel all around Europe, we need to be as frugal as possible. Couchsurfing puts you in contact with other users just about anywhere in the world and you make plans to sleep on their couch, free of charge. This removes any hotel or hostel fees. Although it seems sketchy, it is reasonably safe. I was referred to the site by a 21 year old woman who traveled through the continent by herself, sleeping on a different couch every night. Safety was never an issue.

    Now all I have to do is figure out that damned visa…

  •   buonacos // May 19th 2009 at 11:59

    Now that the semester is over going to England seems more and more real. Studying abroad during college has been my plan since the beginning of high school and I don’t think it’s fully hit me that in a few short months I will be in London and then Norwich, where I’ll be seeing places I’ve only ever read about and living with new people from a completely different culture than my own.

    The idea of being away for an entire year is incredibly exciting — new environments and different lifestyles have always fascinated me. The idea of packing up my life and moving so far away for an entire year seems like an adventure to me. I can’t wait to see places I’ve only read about and take classes at a university, in a setting completely different from that of Dickinson. I’m interested to learn about European history from a European perspective and I’m sure my American studies classes will be fascinating. I’m excited to travel during our breaks to parts of Europe I’ve never seen before and to visit friends on other programs and compare our experiences.

    Despite all my excitement, I can’t help but to be nervous, too. I’ve been pretty much all over the world before, but never for such a long period of time. I’m nervous about the visa process, getting all of the classes I picked, and doing all the reading Professor Qualls just assigned. I’m worried about fitting in with the students at UEA and getting along with my flatmates. The amount of independence the courses at UEA require is daunting, as well.

    However, I’m confident that we will all find our place at UEA and before we know it, we’ll wonder why we were ever worried or afraid to begin with. Everyone I have met who has studied in Norwich absolutely loved it, and I’m sure I’ll be no different.

    I’m more than ready to go and I can’t wait to share this experience with all of you!

  •   aidanoshea // May 19th 2009 at 14:34

    Sorry to get to my reply so late. England seemed quite far away in the middle of finals, but now I’m really starting to get excited. I think our program has attracted a fun and interesting group, and I can’t wait to get to know the people in our group I don’t know well yet. No doubt reading about London all summer will not abate my excitement.

    In Norwich, I’m looking forward to my classes (I have no idea what it will be like to be the one American in an American Studies class in England) and to getting, ideally, a very different college experience than that of an American liberal arts college. I’ve been getting tutorials from more knowledgeable friends about English football, but I’m sure it’s nothing compared to the education I’ll get when I’m there (I’d be more than happy to pontificate about baseball in return).

    I can’t wait to follow next year’s national elections, too (we’ll see if Labour can turn things around and make a contest of it). Perhaps I’m most looking forward to being a fresher again, and having the opportunity to try new clubs and activities and having flatmates in the same position.

    I have to echo everyone else’s concern about cooking, but one of my projects for the summer is learning how to make 3-5 good dishes I can rely on in Norwich. Another concern is money (here’s hoping the Pound stays weak against the Dollar!) but these anxieties (not to mention Prof. Qualls’ warnings about how busy and tired we’re all constantly going to be, especially in London) are dwarfed by my giddiness about getting to spend a year having unique and valuable experiences on this program.

  •   russella // May 19th 2009 at 15:59

    I’m not sure if there are any other Anthropology students coming to England, but study abroad in general provides a unique ethnographic study. Also, it seems like England’s school system is a lot more hands off, something I feel I need. Sink or swim, right?

    I’m definitely looking forward to living in one of the driest counties in England!

  •   jeylam // May 19th 2009 at 18:41

    It is time to start our visa applications, meaning that England is exactly three months away! Although I am mostly excited, I am nervous about all the paper work, packing a year of my life into two bags, finding out if I was able to get into my first choice classes and our basic move to England. But all of the nervousness is shattered when I think that I am basically getting an amazing opportunity to live in a country such as England at age twenty, meet amazing individuals both from Dickinson and those attending University of East Anglia, backpack through Europe (Paris is my first stop) so thank you for providing the couch surfing website which I will make use of I am sure, and emerge in another culture and meet people with great accents.

    I am definitely looking forward to the classes that I am taking in American Studies and International Studies in England. Although I am a Women’s and Gender studies major, I will be able to expand my knowledge by observing the idea of the body, gender, health and overall views of the society in England and their views on the rest of the world including the United States. The idea of being completely emerged in England is also very exciting. Arriving in London and having a first assignment of taking the metro and finding a certain location all by ourselves and learning the city on our terms is something that I would enjoy doing so I am counting down to the day we arrive in England!

    As many have mentioned, I am also nervous about having to cook my own meals but it does give me a great opportunity to become someone who likes to cook and actually follows recipes. I am a person who gets involved in too many activities and tries to take advantage of all the events; therefore, I am nervous about managing my classes and the assignments we receive as well as being able to attend all the museums, concerts, and traveling opportunities that we will have.

    See you all very very soon, 3 months to be exact. I am so ready to go and am sure that we will all have one of the most unique experiences of our lifetime.

  •   mliberty // May 19th 2009 at 23:58

    I have only traveled on a plane for two trips. The first was after my high school graduation, my family and I went on a week long vacation to Puerto Rico. I loved flying. Then, this past summer I bought a ticket and flew across the US all alone to visit a friend from Dickinson in sunny California (I live in New York so it really was coast to coast). I have never felt more independent than when I got on that plane alone. And again, I loved flying.
    For me, this trip to England isn’t really about education, seeing the world or Europe, or even making new friends, it’s about independence. It’s about stepping into the world, just on my two feet. I have never been to Europe, never been through customs, never been farther from my family than I am when I’m at school. I have never been alone or made a choice to isolate myself from everything I know. This trip, this year with all of you spent at UEA, will help me to achieve all those things.
    Many of you I don’t know and have never seen before. But those of you who know me know how much I have given up for the chance to share this experience with you. Together we will all learn something new, about the world, about England, about Europe, and about ourselves. That is what I am most looking forward to this year. I want to get to know everyone on this trip, and I want them to get to know me. I want all of us to learn what we are capable of, as students, and friends, and as people. I plan to push myself, to leave my comfort zone, and I hope you all will too. Good luck to all of us and see you on the other side!

  •   paulkuhlman // May 21st 2009 at 16:07

    This coming fall will mark a few firsts for me: It will be the first time I will have to cook my own meals three times a day, the first time I’ll be living in a large city like London for an extended amount of time, but most importantly, it will be the first time that I have been outside the continental United States. This is certainly the largest and most daunting task, but it’s the one that I am without a doubt the most eager to experience.
    What does it mean to be American? What does it mean to not be American? As the group flight to London draws nearer, I am continually thinking about these questions, and where I fit in them. Although completely believable, it is still slightly strange to think that an entire country of people has grown up with an entirely different history and therefore view of the world. I am excited to not only find these differences in England, but in throughout all of Europe as I plan to travel extensively during my breaks from school.
    In addition to travelling, I am also extremely excited to study at the University of East Anglia. As an English major, I cannot wait to read great works of British and other European literature and have access to the places that they were written in. I also plan on taking an American Studies course while I am there, as it is an intriguing notion to learn of your country from an outsider’s viewpoint.
    I have already begun to count down the days until London and I can’t wait to start immersing myself in what promises to be a great year abroad.

  •   anyasettle // May 23rd 2009 at 00:43

    Wow, I can’t believe that we will be in England in just a couple more months! I am so excited to get the technicalities out of the way and start learning about and exploring all that the UK has to offer. Since I am an English major, I am especially excited about studying in the country in which Shakeskpeare once wrote and in which the English language is rooted. I know that this truly once-in-lifetime opportunity will be a formative one, and I can’t wait to get started!
    I do have some concerns, however. I know that I will definitely be homesick, and hopping on a plane to come for the weekend is obviously out of the question, so that will be difficult. Also, coooking will probably prove to be a challenge for me. I love to cook, but knowing myself, I’ll probably be too busy working, studying, or out with friends to prepare healthy meals, so I envision myself making a LOT of mac and cheese!
    All in all, I know studying at UEA will have it’s challenges, but I am confident that the benefits will far outweight any drawbacks, and I know that those challenges will only make me a stronger student and individual! I can’t wait!

  •   becca136 // May 23rd 2009 at 11:10

    Anya, you might have a hard time finding mac and cheese in England!! He he

  •   Karl // May 25th 2009 at 08:15

    Many of you seem concerned with cooking for the first time. Don’t worry. I plan to have you over to the house for some crash courses so you don’t starve to death. That wouldn’t look good on my resume!

  •   apower // May 27th 2009 at 13:43

    My boss just came in and asked me what I was doing (not press releases as I probably should have been) but I told her I was looking at the visa information for studying abroad. Lucky for me instead of telling me to get back to work she sat down and started telling me all about her study abroad experience in London. When I told her the only two places outside the United States I have been to are Niagara Falls (the Canadian side) and Cancun, Mexico she just looked at me with this look in her eyes and said, “do everything, experience everything.”

    Even though that’s what I’ve been saying all along that I want to do while abroad I constantly have my parents telling me that I need to focus on my school work and that they will be disappointed to hear if I’ve been traveling too much. Obviously I’m looking forward to my classes, but hearing my boss Erin tell me that some of the greatest things she learned were while traveling during her time abroad, I knew that’s what I wanted to do too.

    I’ve been really busy with my job, and it does not appear to be dying down anytime soon, and so I hope that I have time to get everything I need to get done before our flight to London. Well, I have to get it all done, so I should probably finish these press releases so I can figure out where to get this biometrics scan..

  •   kimberlyspackman // May 28th 2009 at 14:43

    In less than three months we will be in England and I have no idea what to expect from it. I’m terribly excited to get through the whole visa process and the consequent travel so I can start experiencing the UK. Let’s just say that I’ve been slightly obsessed with European, especially British, history since I was about 7 and as such cannot wait to actually see where that history happened for myself. Also, one of my aunts told me the other day that this is an opportunity of a lifetime and I would be a sorry fool to let it go by without living every moment abroad to the fullest. And I can say that that is what I am most excited for in this trip. And hopefully by pushing myself to experience new things and living every moment in the UK to the fullest that I will gain more than just a sense of satisfaction.
    I am worried about some things though. I know I am going to be homesick next year. It will be difficult, but I guess I can just look at it as part of the entire experience. Cooking? Well it’s not the cooking that’s the issue, it’s more the fact that when I’m homesick I tend to bake…a lot. Red velvet cake, peanut butter fudge, cookie bars, brownies, lots of various types of cookies. Not exactly good for a person’s health in copious amounts, eh? The final issue is that I know I will become lost at some point. I’m not worried about finding my way to where I’m supposed to be, it’s more the fact that I’m worried I’ll have too much fun being lost to find my way back in a timely fashion.
    Still even with those worries, I’m more excited for this than I have been for anything else in a long time. I already have a countdown and everything.

  •   fulltime09 // May 29th 2009 at 16:37

    My preparation for Norwich has been both exciting and anxiety-ridden. At points over the last few months (since I received word that I was admitted into the program – – special thanks to my new BlackBerry – -), the approach towards August 19th has seemed much like a countdown. One day it ticks toward a new year or a huge celebration. At other times, the countdown feels like a huge weight, as though August 19th is a day I will leave this country only to be flung far from the familiar and into what would become my unfamiliar home. For a year. A whole year. Not everyone gave their support for the idea, believe it or not. People thought I was crazy for leaving for a year. My friends gave me looks as though I had started speaking to them in Japanese. Luckily, my mom gave me the support I needed. She didn’t call me crazy – she offered to be Professor Qualls’ nanny. That was the support I needed. All the while, the countdown ticks…

    I, like Andrew, have been to Israel and a few other countries. That’s the extent of my travel experience. Though Israel is a big leap from the US, I have to remember that the farthest west I’ve traveled in the US is …. Carlisle. Because I haven’t even traveled farther than my home college, I check off Israel as a point of personal pride. I hope it will help me escape the tourism London promises to a greater, deeper understanding of the city.

    My concerns? Other than what I’ve heard about British food (“bring salt and pepper”), London (“OH MY GOD it’s SO expensive!”), Norwich (“oh……….never heard of it”), my concerns are not unlike any of those listed in these comments. I have had the fortune of talking with Professor Tynan of the Economics Dept., who hails from the UK and knows Norwich very well. Also, my step-aunt has written a book detailing about 50 of the most often-missed spots in London, complete with an in-depth, behind-the-scenes guide to the city. I plan to make this (one of) my bibles for the trip.

    I honestly cannot wait for this experience to begin. I joke around about my concerns for the trip, but I know that the adjustment period will only yield a wider appreciation for Britain – not only as the unfamiliar but also as my home for the next year.

  •   chelseagilchrist // Jun 3rd 2009 at 20:09

    I’ve been excited about studying abroad in England since I was thirteen years old–that is how long I’ve been looking forward to this. Ever since this first visit to England with my school in 2003, I’ve been obsessed with all things British and have been back a few times, but I don’t think anything will compare to actually living in England for a year, which is something that I’ve always dreamed of doing. Being an American Studies major, I hope to establish a better understanding of the outsider’s opinion of America and to analyze the sometimes subtle differences between British culture and American culture.

    Right now, I’m mostly nervous about the technical aspects of things: getting the visa (I’m still awaiting the letters, as I assume everyone else is, but I’m worried this will delay getting the visa!), packing four seasons worth of clothes in two suitcases and a carryon, figuring out food and cooking (I can barely boil water), wondering whether or not I can afford British life, since I lost both of my jobs this summer, and determining whether or not I’ll arrive in London before the group. I’m also slightly worried about being part of the Dickinson group, especially in London: I’ve only ever travelled and lived abroad on my own before, and I’m fiercely independent by nature.

    Mostly, I’m looking forward to experiencing British life by being more of a resident than a tourist, and I can’t wait to explore the country (and Europe in general) on my own. I also have a few British/international friends that I rarely get to see, and I can’t wait to be conveniently located close to Europe.

    (Sorry for the late reply!)

  •   tejadaf // Jun 5th 2009 at 09:22

    So I finally get to post, after purchasing a new computer and switching my internet service provider… ooh technology, can’t live with and nowadays can’t live without it. While away in England, I look forward towards the multiple attempts I will have to endure in order to communicate with my parents via the web. I already attempted to teach them how to use Skype and let’s just say it didn’t go very well. Like (hopefully) most scholars, I have a passion for learning, absorbing knowledge of people/places/things, so I ‘m excited to learn a whole lot about England; I am sure most of what I hope to lean I currently have no idea of. I am anxious to get there already, it still doesn’t seem completely real, and it just feels so far away! I know I know it’s only like a month and some change away, but I want to get there and explore new hobbies and interests, try the local foods, catch an English accent, take long trips on a train and attend classes with no syllabus. It’s going to be a fantastic journey, and I can’t wait to share a year in England with you all.

    Hope summer is going well!

    =] Flow

  •   tejadaf // Jun 5th 2009 at 09:30

    For anyone interested in racial politics in England today, i started reading “There Ain’t No Black in the Union Jack” by Paul Gilroy, it was recommended to me by Professor Ball (history department) and so far it’s pretty good stuff!

    =] Flow

  •   russella // Jul 1st 2009 at 19:01

    Just got the confirmation email that my visa got the go ahead, pretty sweet.

    Despite certain mix ups, I think Dickinson has done a pretty decent job with the whole process. Thumbs up Dickinson.

You must log in to post a comment.