Study Abroad Program - Cambridge University
In July 2007, seven honors students from Westchester Community College spent three weeks studying literature and poetry at Cambridge University in Cambridge, England. The students, and their English hosts, agreed that the Westchester students were well prepared for a marvelous educational and cultural experience due largely to the efforts of their Westchester Community College professors: Dr. John Flynn, Dr. Christine Timm, and Dr. James Werner. Prior to their departure, the professors met with the students to review the reading lists, discuss writing projects, and share important cultural considerations. The students received weekly fact sheets to help them plan for and understand just about everything they would need to know including how to exchange money, what to pack, how to rent a bike and, to stay off the grass at Kings College! The fact sheets, coupled with the informational meetings helped the students enjoy a truly unique experience. In fact, the professors at Cambridge commented that they wish all of the visiting students were as knowledgeable of and prepared for their three weeks in England as were the students from Westchester Community College.
The honor students resided “in college” (that is, on the campus of one of the Cambridge University colleges) and were assisted by Cambridge student-tutors. The students were required to participate in two seminars a day (1 ½ hours each), taught by Cambridge professors, and to attend various lectures. Also, numerous social events were helpful in ensuring that the honors students from all over the world (and of all ages) got together and had fun.
While at Cambridge, the students continued to receive guidance from their Westchester Community College professors but were also given the opportunity to be independent. Weekends were free so the students were able to travel to London, visit the Queen’s residence, or just explore areas around Cambridge. It was not unusual to see the honor students being treated by their Westchester Community College professors to a boat ride down the river Cam, a lovely dinner and, of course, teas and scones.
This was a truly unique opportunity for students to study at one of the world’ oldest and most prestigious universities. Students become exposed to the British cultural heritage as well as, through informal daily interaction with classmates, to cultures of many different countries in the world. New friends were made and memories that will last a lifetime!
The opportunity to study at Cambridge University through Westchester Community College will change your life. It certainly was the best experience of my life. If you do anything with your summer, do this! It will change the way you see the world and will be an experience that you will remember for years to come. You will want to do it every summer.
The place…the people… the culture will charm you and impress even the most skeptical. It was amazing to learn and experience a new way of analyzing poems, Shakespeare, and life. You will learn and have fun while you are doing it. You will meet people from all over the world, study in one of the most beautiful places in the world and have more fun than you ever imagined. Trust me, if you have any reservations about doing the Cambridge Program, just put them aside. Once you are there, you will not want to come back!
Linda Forchetti’s Experience
On July 7, 2007, I took off from JFK with six other students on our way to the most culturally enriching city in the world -Cambridge. The excitement was at its peak. The thought of spending 20 days with complete strangers didn't even concern me, I was just so enthusiastic and I embraced every single aspect of it!
The city was just marvelous, with its grand medieval chapels and buildings and majestic architecture contrasting the simplicity of the English gardens with their rich perfumes of lavender. A sense of peace came over me every day as the church bells rang as the evening golden light of the city shone on artists playing music in the streets. The city, although fairly small, had so much to offer including a variety of museums and colleges to visit, a walk through the narrow streets, punting tours over the river Cam, bicycle rides explore the delicate country and traditional English pubs and restaurants.
The classes and professors were just as wonderful. I remember feeling anxious about whether or not I was ready to attend such a high level of academics. I realized, however, that every single course and professor at Westchester Community College had appropriately prepared me so that I was able to understand and actively participate in the class discussions with positive results. The Cambridge professors were extremely understanding and open to new ideas, ideas brought by hundreds of students from all over the world and a wide range of age, from 20 to 80!!!!
It truly was for me a life-changing experience, academically, as I challenged myself and drew inspiration from the variety of people I met, and personally, as I detached myself from the routine and reevaluate my life while setting new goals. I encourage everyone to work hard and attend this program at Westchester Community College, as it really is a once in a lifetime experience! If it wasn’t for Westchester, I would have not even dreamed of studying in Cambridge, just do it! Let me say thank you to Westchester Community College and your brilliant instructors!
I am what is referred to as a returning student; that is, a woman who has returned to Westchester Community College to continue her education and seek new inspiration. I have not been disappointed. The professors and the classes at Westchester have re-inspired me -although it was with some trepidation that I applied to the Cambridge Honors Program. Frankly, I did not think I would be accepted because I thought that I was so much older than the average student. I could not be more wrong and I remember how excited I was when I receive the call telling me of my acceptance. It was like a dream. The experience of studying at Cambridge continued that dream.
What I found at Cambridge was hundreds of people of all ages and all nationalities studying, punting, dancing and sharing. The professors from Westchester made themselves available to guide and assist and treat us to tea! It was great fun. I studied poetry and literature with students from all over the world who brought their unique perspectives to the discussions. I studied under Cambridge professors who challenged us to ask and answer questions and who made themselves available outside of class to help. Professor Hurley, for example, challenged us to be ambitious readers and guided us through the material. The academic, cultural and social opportunities were ones that I shall remember forever AND I will recommend both Westchester Community College and the Cambridge Program to all I know.
Had it not been for my classes at Westchester Community College, I would never have known of this unique educational and cultural experience. I am very grateful and VERY INSPIRED.