Paul Simon’s Study Abroad Act, an initiative to expand opportunities for undergraduates in the U.S. to study abroad, is one of the reasons that such undergraduate student abroad programs across the country are growing in increasing numbers. Two professors at HGTC realized the powerful impact such a program as this could have on their students. HGTC English Professor Hyde Abbott and History Professor Sam Klein developed the school’s one-of-a-kind program. They partner together and teach the medieval to modern periods of London from both perspectives. The professors designed their academic programs as co-requisites. Fusing the English and history classes, along with a trip abroad, seemed a logical step. The London trip is scheduled over spring break and is a requirement to taking the two courses for which students will receive six hours of credit.
Through the two classes, students not only learn the history of London, but also the personality of the times through literature and how it fits into politics and the social context. Assigned readings and class discussions center around showing students how these two areas are entwined and overlap to form the British culture. The classes meet on Tuesdays and Thursdays during the spring semester. The professors co-teach and both attend each class session. Students also benefit from field practice exercises done in class prior to departure teaching them things such as how to navigate the British public transit system, how to exchange foreign currency, and reviewing local colloquialisms they will encounter in their day-to-day conversations and interactions with the British people.