By Janel Shoun on 7/20/2011
Going away to college is exciting enough when a student’s first class will be English 101. Imagine the excitement when a new freshman’s first course takes him all the way “across the pond” to London, England, with the university’s president.
That’s the opportunity that 21 David Lipscomb High School graduates will receive July 23-31. These students will participate in London: City as Text, a study abroad course offered exclusively to David Lipscomb High School graduates who will enroll at Lipscomb University this fall. University President L. Randolph Lowry and his wife Rhonda will host the eight-day trip.
“Each year I think about how it might be difficult for the campus school seniors to imagine the college experience being much different from their high school because, after all, it is only across the parking lot,” said Lowry. “However, each year the DLHS graduates that choose Lipscomb for their college experience tell me how different the experience really is. Yet, attending here may not always be perceived as exciting as going away to college.
“So we developed a special experience we believe will start college for our high school graduates in an unforgettable way,” he said.
Along with the Lowrys, campus school teacher Karen Wood and her husband Bob, a Lipscomb board member, will chaperone the trip, which will include classic tourist stops such as Buckingham Palace, Tower of London and the River Thames.
However, it will also include many experiences designed to introduce the participants to college life, said Melissa Swann, site director in the global learning department who is coordinating the London trip.
They will be staying in the Imperial College dormitories, instruction by the Lowrys and other faculty will be held at Pepperdine University’s London campus, and students will tour the campus of the University of Oxford as well as hear a lecture by Dr. Michael Ward, chaplain of St. Peter's College, Oxford, and a leading expert on the works of C.S. Lewis.
Michael Fernandez, chair of Lipscomb’s theatre department, will serve as lead faculty on the trip and will instruct students in British theatre as they attend performances of “Mousetrap,” “Billy Elliott” and Marlowe’s “Doctor Faustus,” performed at The Globe.
The students will also be among the first to be able to check out iPads for use during the trip from the Lipscomb technology center, Swann said. Other activities on the itinerary include touring the House of Parliament on the first day of Summer Opening, a once-a-year chance for non-UK citizens to tour the government building; a cruise on the River Thames; and a tour and lunch at Middle Temple.
Many parents of DLHS students saw the trip as a great opportunity for their children to start college with a truly unique academic opportunity. “We wanted to offer our newest students the opportunity to start their college experience with an academic adventure,” Swann said.