Catharine Cashner, Director of International Programs, here on blog writing duty today. I have really enjoyed watching our students explore a new city, and new country, on this study abroad program.
After the first two days seeing some of the famous sites in Canterbury, we began the program in earnest on Monday. Bright and early Monday morning, we walked to Canterbury Christ Church University for a welcome from Bob Cecil and Beverly Murray, social work professors here in Canterbury. Bob then gave us an introduction and overview on social work in the UK context. After the lecture, we tried out the student cafeteria (or “canteen”, as they would say here), then met Jayne Anne Kilvington of the International Office for a short orientation and tour of campus. The walk back from campus took us past King’s School, the oldest school in the United Kingdom, just as the students in their smart uniforms were leaving school. The school is what we would call private, and what the British call a “public” school. (The subtle differences between British and American English frequently have us guessing as to the exact meaning of a word, but we are hoping to be nearly fluent at the end of our two weeks here.) The ancient city walls of Canterbury were on our right side, and the towers of Canterbury Cathedral peek over the rooftops, so finding our way back home was easy.
On Tuesday, the students sat in on a lecture with Canterbury social work students, and the afternoon was our first visit to an agency dealing with substance abuse. The students will be sharing their impressions of their visits later in the week, so I will let them describe the visit. After a few days visiting the more touristy parts of town, this was our first trip outside of the city center, to an area with lumber yards and tire stores, instead of the candy stores and quaint restaurants we have become used to seeing.
The students have settled themselves into the residence hall where we are all staying, which has become virtually a Mount Mercy colony in Canterbury, since we have the building almost to ourselves. It comes complete with kitchens, although we have not had time to do much more than boil water for coffee and tea.
We’ll start off early tomorow morning with a seminar, then a museum visit, so I will sign off now.