Sarah Gediman - York, England

Sarah - York

The more casual work-life balance in York allowed me to explore the town and surrounding areas. I enjoyed going to museums in the city and doing day trips to nearby towns and parks with other international students from every continent. I learned about the English National Parks through my coursework, but also by visiting them on the weekends. By doing so I got the chance to see some aspects of English life in rural communities and towns in addition to college life. Studying and living with English students, as well as students from countries worldwide made me think about myself as an American, and what that means on an international scale, for the first time in my life.

The architecture and culture of York helped me as a historian, because immense spans of time in English history are evident in the way the city is built. For example, the oldest part of the city is surrounded by a wall that was built in 71 AD by the Romans. The defining building in the city is the Minster, which was built between 1220 and 1472 and was a significant location in the English Reformation. I also had some incredible academic opportunities. I took a course on the Soviet Union and had the chance to travel to Kraków with the York History Society. This was fascinating because I got to see some of the places I read about for class and think about the ways in which the former USSR affects the current city. While I loved my time in England for many reasons, it made me appreciate the academic rigor of UIUC. I will return to Champaign-Urbana with deep gratitude for both my experiences in England and the resources on our home campus.


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