For the first time in her life, Saba Munir traveled without her family and across the Atlantic in summer 2013 to visit London.  She joined fellow Brock Scholars as they explored the fine arts and history of this major cultural center, the culmination of the Travel Seminar course. 

Sipping beloved brew in a traditional English tea room, from left:  Erin Myers, Saba Munir, Kayla Kirkendall

Sipping beloved brew in a traditional English tea room, from left: Erin Myers, Saba Munir, Kayla Kirkendall

In anticipation of the 10-day London trip, professors asked the students to create an itinerary of required assignments and explorations of their personal interests.  Students had the option of traveling on their own or in small groups.

The itinerary Munir developed helped the biology major with time management.

“By actually being in London, I absorbed the history better by actively learning.  The trip made me more serious about finding a way to study abroad,” said Munir, a junior who plans to become a physician.

With access to the London Underground, Bus Network, and Trams, the group of students, faculty, and Brock Scholar alumni scattered across the city.  They visited the British Museum and the National Gallery, filled with some of the most famous art and artifacts from around the world.

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Near Trafalgar Square, from left: Kayla Kirkendall, Robert Fisher, Erin Myers, Saba Munir

Some groups climbed to the top of St. Paul’s Cathedral, studied history at the Tower of London, and listened to numerous orators at Speakers’ Corner in Hyde Park. Each student was also able to attend at least one performance at the National Theatre, Royal Albert Hall, or the Royal Opera House.

Besides the small group excursions, the Brock Scholars occasionally travelled together. The group visited the English Salisbury Cathedral, followed by visits to the prehistoric sites of the Neolithic monuments at Stonehenge and Avebury. Everyone enjoyed an evening performance of King Lear, performed at Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre on the south bank of the Thames.

Kyle Marcum, a senior accounting major, was wowed by the experience.

“I enjoyed exploring the city’s history and creativity, and the way they it conducts business,” said Marcum, who plans to graduate in December and intends to begin his career with Joseph Decosimo as a staff accountant.  “To see the architecture that’s been around for centuries is amazing.  And the melting pot of cultures—we met people from Austria, Italy, Germany, France.  You always hear about the bad food in England.  We had great food—German, Thai, and Indian restaurants were everywhere.”

Kyle Marcum at Buckingham Palace

Kyle Marcum at Buckingham Palace

At the conclusion of the trip, students were responsible for another homework assignment.

“The portfolios the travelers submitted following the trip chronicled their varied activities and reflections on their experiences. While ten days barely gives time to see some city highlights, the students experienced enough of the city to know it warrants a return visit,” explained Debbie Bell, Assistant Director of the Brock Scholars Program.

Brock Scholars have previously explored Vienna and Paris, and they’ve taken tours around the countries of Greece and China.

The Brock Scholars Program is a four-year interdisciplinary program meant to attract the most academically-qualified students to The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga by offering uniquely enriching interdisciplinary experiences, special opportunities for advancement, a supportive community of scholars, and a purposeful path to leadership.

For more information please call 423-425-4128.

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