London study abroaders taste history

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    By Kathryn Green

    Nothing says London like Buckingham Palace with tea and crumpets, said students returning from this summer”s semester in England.

    Every semester 40 students pack their suitcases and head off to England to test out their English accents, attend the theater and learn about the English culture and history.

    “We had the chance to see history from England”s point of view,” said Lindsay Marz, 20, a junior from Henderson, Nev., majoring in advertising. “England”s involvement in world conflicts was so different than I ever imagined.”

    However, International Studies Director Rodney Boynton said the recent terrorist conflict has not haulted the program”s progression.

    Boynton said enrollments are holding steady, and the number of applicants has remained the same as in past years.

    “At this point we”re receiving as many applications now for all of the study abroad programs as we have in the past,” Boynton said. “We haven”t seen any dramatic drop in student interest, and prices are holding steady for airlines and expenses.”

    Boynton said he thinks this is a sign BYU students are excited to experience the world.

    “I think BYU students are anxious to continue to add an international study opportunity to their major or minor, or to their BYU experience because it”s a valuable thing to do,” Boynton said. “I”m sure if they perceive danger in the world they will respond to that.”

    Yet Boynton said it”s not the program, but the students who make the study abroad experience improve.

    “I think the quality of BYU students goes up every year,” Boynton said. “The average person accepted to BYU now is more prepared, more aware and more capable of making study abroad a good experience.”

    Marz said her eyes were opened to other world conflicts when she visited London.

    She said visiting wartime tunnels at Dover Castle impacted the way she viewed World War I.

    “I got to see firsthand where fighting took place and where people were held captive,” she said. “I never knew these places existed.”

    Aaron Olsen, 24, a senior from Orem majoring in classical studies said London sightseeing gave him an added dimension to his education.

    “Seeing monumental places was different then just reading a dry description,” Olsen said. “You can read about the Houses of Parliament and the political process in English history, but to actually go there and see where things happened brings it all to life.”

    Billy Dalebout, 18, a freshman from Provo who has not yet declared his major, said he was relieved he could participate in the study abroad experience without having to learn a different language.

    “I would recommend going to London because it”s English-speaking,” Dalebout said.

    But London does not come without a price. The International Studies Department estimated a program cost of $4,000 to $5,000 for fall and winter semesters. This estimate does not include lunch meals, entertainment or souvenirs.

    Spring and summer term programs cost around $3,000 to $4,000, according the International Studies Department.

    However, summer-term student Marz said she felt she got her money”s worth.

    “I think we got more than what we paid for,” Marz said.

    “The BYU London Center is gorgeous, we had gourmet meals every night, we lived in the heart of downtown London and our directors even paid so we could take an extra trip to Ireland.”

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