Long-time readers might remember a post I wrote in 2010 about the Oberlin-in-London Program. If you don't, you should probably take a look at it now as context for what follows.
No, really. You should go read it now. I can wait.
Okay, now you know why I'm looking forward so much to teaching the program again this spring. My colleague Marc Blecher, of the Politics Department, and I succeeded in recruiting what we think is going to be a terrific group of students to study with us on the 2012 program. (I wrote about that process here.) This semester, of course, the students will be engaged in other classes and activities, but we're all looking forward to the adventure that will begin at the end of January.
In the last couple of years Ben Jones and I have been talking about how we might arrange to have study abroad in general, and the London Program in particular, represented more fully on the admissions blogs page. Abby wrote beautifully from London last spring, and others like Eli and Chris have also reported about their experiences abroad, but we wanted to find a way of allowing more students on the London Program to share their experiences—partly as a way of informing prospective students about this amazing opportunity, and partly to provide information to students thinking about applying for the program in subsequent years.
So I'm very pleased to present a new website called the London Blogs, which will allow many more of the students going to London—perhaps even all 25 of them!—to fill you in on what they're doing, learning, and thinking as they navigate the streets and neighborhoods of London. Their experiences and reactions are likely to be quite different, given their various interests and habits, but collectively they should give you a vivid sense of what the program has to offer.
Obviously, the blogging won't get into high gear until February when we all arrive at Heathrow. So why start the blogs up now? Well, in part because we thought it might be useful to hear about the logistical and mental preparation that these students will go through in readying themselves to depart. The other reason is that it won't be long before some of you will be starting to think about the possibility of going abroad in 2012-13 (details about the 2013 London program will be available on the website soon), and we hope reading about these students' experiences will excite you about applying.
So a number of the 2012 crew have volunteered to introduce themselves and talk a bit about their reasons for applying to the program. Those who've posted so far are:
This is, frankly, an experiment: we hope it will be interesting and of value to readers, but we can't be sure that it will be. The easiest way for us to know for sure will be for you to give us feedback; please feel free to comment, ask questions, enter into dialogue with us at the end of each post. Let us know you're there! More bloggers should be signing in soon, so please check back for updates periodically. I'll also be posting updates here from time to time.