Pre-Depature: A Starting Point

The UF in Cambride program is officially less than one week away! That being said, I intend for this first post to act as an introduction for followers. I will explain a little about the program (the interesting part) and then add some tidbits about myself (the less interesting part).

The UF in Cambridge program began over thirty years ago in 1983. Currently, the program is run by the UF history department in partnership with the Cambridge University of England. Bringing together two leading research universities provides students like myself an incredible opportunity to continue rigorous academic course work while experiencing life overseas. Currently headed by Dr. Sheryl Kroen, the program takes place over four weeks and begins in Paris, France, Dr. Kroen’s second home and object of years worth of study. After six days in Paris, we will head to Cambridge which will function as our home base or headquarters so to speak for the next three weeks. However, the travelling doesn’t stop there because we will also spend time in Bath, London, and Stonehenge. There’s much to see and do with this program so be ready for a whirlwind of posts!

Next, I’ll touch briefly on the academic side of things that I alluded to above. The UF in Cambridge program is primarily a history program, but one that embraces all areas of study from arts to language and from politics to science. In particular, this year the program is set around the end of 18th century. Beyond that, students have wide-ranging possibilities. Since this course is considered a European history class, one might easily consider the questions surrounding the French Revolution, the effects of Enlightenment thinking, and the intricate relations developing between European powers and their colonies. Of course, Dr. Kroen hasn’t limited us to these options and every student will bring a different approach to the course. Personally, I plan to focus on Russian history during this period and am in the process of finalizing my topics and plans for the course. I have high hopes that the final products (papers, presentations, etc.) of this program will be intriguing and insightful.

I’ll finish this first post with some details about the first day of the program to give everyone some idea of what our arrival will be like. On Monday July 14th the other UF in Cambridge students and I will meet Dr. Kroen at Cite Universitaire in Paris, France. Cite Universitaire was established to house international students (Floridians being the target population, of course) in the 1920s. Thus we inherit a strong tradition of academic cordiality between nations and will do our best to honor it. Coincidentally, the French will also be celebrating Bastille Day when we arrive which will certainly make the first few hours together an interesting clash between jetlag and celebration. I plan to post a few pictures of said clash which I hope might be enough to bring a few readers back.

Until then, I bid my readers adieu and my fellow travelers <<Bon Voyage!>>.


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