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43 Gatton Academy students spend 3 weeks in England

Forty-three Gatton Academy students traveled to England for a study abroad program this summer.

Forty-three Gatton Academy students traveled to England for a study abroad program this summer.

Forty-three Gatton Academy students have returned home following a 23-day study abroad program to London and Harlaxton College in Grantham, England.

Accompanying the students on the trip were Professor Walker Rutledge, WKU Department of English, and Dr. Julia Roberts, Beth Hawke, Zack Ryle and Danetra Hodge of The Gatton Academy.

The Gatton Academy has offered this study abroad program to rising seniors annually since 2011. Students who choose to go on the program take their English 200: Introduction to Literature course. The program is structured in a way that students are in class one day studying a specific author and literary work and on a field trip the next day immersed in the literary setting of the piece, walking in the author’s footsteps.

“Teaching an on-site literature course is surely the first item on every English professor’s wish list,” said Professor Rutledge, who led the course. “Doing so with this year’s Gatton Academy students was much more: it amounted to dream fulfillment!”

The students spent their first week of the course in London. On days out from London, the class went to Chawton to see Jane Austen’s home, Winchester to see the Winchester Cathedral and riverside Keats’ walk, Bath to take in several Jane Austen sites, and Oxford for a tour of sites associated with C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien, and the Harry Potter series.

“I became a world traveler this summer thanks to the Gatton,” said Princeton senior Anne B. Wetzel. “I thoroughly enjoyed exploring the cities with my friends and instructors. We learned a great deal about the authors and the inspiration behind their works. Standing in the actual locations where these great authors stood made our trip unique.”

Following London, the students were based in Harlaxton College for the final two weeks. This majestic manor allowed the students ample space to roam and interact during the times when class was not in session. From Harlaxton, field trips were taken to sites associated with John Bunyan, D.H. Lawrence, Shakespeare, Byron and the Brontës.

“Since I have been home everyone I know has asked me how the trip to England went,” said Glasgow senior Michael Belcher. “The trip to England was unlike anything I have ever experienced. I was able to take a literature class and stand where Jane Austen and D.H. Lawrence stood. I was able to live in a beautiful manor and explore historic grounds with some of the most amazing people I know. Traveling abroad with the Academy has changed my life in inexplicable and innumerable ways. I have not come up with the words to describe how wonderful Harlaxton was.”

The Gatton Academy will host three study abroad programs during the 2015-2016 school year — a study abroad trip to Costa Rica from Jan. 1-16; a travel abroad program to Italy from Jan. 4-16; and a trip to England and Harlaxton College from July 14-Aug. 5.

The students who went on this year’s program to England include:

  • Niven Achenjang (’16) of Barbourville
  • Saadia Akhtar (’16) of Bowling Green
  • Juan Atehortua (’16) of Bowling Green
  • Dustin Avery (’16) of Hardyville
  • Joshua Baunach (’16) of Taylorsville
  • Michael Belcher (’16) of Glasgow
  • Taylor Bowman (’16) of Mount Sterling
  • Meg Brown (’16) of Campbellsville
  • Jared “Chase” Carney (’16) of Campbellsville
  • Rachel Cooper (’16) of Louisville
  • Rohan Deshpande (’16) of LaGrange
  • Jenna Ellis (’16) of Sparta
  • Alexander Gelderman (’16) of Bowling Green
  • Whitney Heard (’16) of Bowling Green
  • William Hornsby (‘16) of Bowling Green
  • Sean Hudson (’16) of Louisville
  • Esther Huggins (’16) of Elizabethtown
  • Nolan Hughes (’16) of Shelbyville
  • Hayden Justice (’16) of Danville
  • Emily Keeter (’16) of Frankfort
  • Luci Keller (’16) of Hopkinsville
  • Sarah King (’16) of Irvine
  • Noah Latham (’16) of Franklin
  • Malia Latimer (’16) of Louisville
  • Terrance Life (’16) of Elizabethtown
  • Maria Long (’16) of Mount Washington
  • Wendy Loomis (’16) of Fort Mitchell
  • Seth Marksberry (’16) of Owensboro
  • Harsh Moolani (’16) of Owensboro
  • Logan Nofsinger (’16) of Louisville
  • Kristen Pedersen (’16) of Barbourville
  • Lauren Pedersen (’16) of Barbourville
  • Alexandrea Pike-Goff (’16) of Brandenburg
  • Donald Price (‘16) of Perryville
  • Graham Reynolds (’16) of Owensboro
  • Emma Saarinen (‘16) of Shelbyville
  • James “Alex” Senig (‘16) of Munfordville
  • Eura Shin (16’) of Morehead
  • Riley Walch (16’) of Alexandria
  • Zachary Wesley (16’) of Somerset
  • Anne Barrett Wetzel (16’) of Princeton
  • Amanda White (16’) of Louisville
  • Rebecca Wood (16’) of Maysville

For  information on The Gatton Academy’s recent program to England or the upcoming programs, contact Zack Ryle at (270) 745-2971 or zack.ryle@wku.edu

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