Students on the first PLNU-Hope study abroad program in Liverpool, UK, are completing their coursework and returning home. Twenty-two students from a variety of majors participated in the first year of this unique semester-long program. Students spent September touring Ireland, Scotland and England with PLNU professors Dr. Rebecca Laird (theology and Christian ministry) and Dr. Rick Hill (writing and literature) and the remainder of the semester studying at Liverpool Hope University. The program will be offered again next fall, led by Dr. Laird and this time, Dr. Alan Hueth (communication and theatre).
Students complete one or two three-unit courses prior to and during the faculty-led tour portion of the semester. Sophomore child and adolescent development major Hannah Kredit says, “We completed the majority of our coursework over the summer, so the travel portion was mainly seeing the sights we had learned about in our books.”
Dr. Hill taught writing and literature courses and Dr. Laird taught the Life of Holiness general education course and an upper-division theology course about C.S. Lewis. “Traveling with the PLNU professors and students for the first few weeks also eased us into the culture and lessened culture shock because we still experienced familiarity amongst change,” Kredit says.
Following the tour, the students are fully immersed in British culture during their 12-week term at LHU. Students select from over 40 pre-approved courses and attend classes with British and other international students. Sophomore English education major Shane Hoyle says, “My favorite class has been my major authors and archival research class because we get to interact with Shakespeare and explore the cultural contexts which he lived in.”
While LHU offers many humanities courses, students from all majors are eligible for the program. Junior biology-chemistry major Elissa Burson completed a biology course alongside ethics and cinema.
“My favorite part of going to Liverpool Hope University is that it is small enough where you see people you know on a daily basis. It also it cool that it has multiple campuses with very different feels,” Burson says. The campuses vary based on subjects, and students take the bus or walk from their flat to class.
Students only take three courses during the term and can spend time participating in extracurricular activities. Junior literature major Amy Ely says a normal day involves class at the Hope Park campus, lunch with friends, time at the gym and reading in the park. “On Tuesdays I volunteer at Asylum Link Merseyside fixing bikes for refugees, which is a great way to meet local people,” Ely says.
The program gives students the opportunity to bond with PLNU students and professors as well as immerse themselves in a unique culture. Sophomore journalism major Melanie Coffman experienced culture shock and homesickness but sees the ways in which she grew from those experiences. “Our group has done and seen so much. I’ve learned a lot about different countries and cultures, and it has changed my perspective on the world completely,” Coffman says. “I’ve learned to be in tune with what’s going on in other countries, and I think that has expanded my empathy and respect for people different from me.”
The next PLNU-Hope semester program will explore England, Ireland and Wales and will run from August 30 to December 13, 2019. Applications are due by January 15, 2019. Visit the Office of Global Studies for more information.