Regent University students took their learning out of the classroom and across the world as they adventured through London and Paris. “A Tale of Two Cities” study-abroad trip toured famous sites including St. Paul’s Cathedral, Westminster Abbey, C.S. Lewis’ home, the Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame, and Shakespeare’s Globe theatre. Undergraduate students in the College of Arts & Sciences (CAS) returned from the memorable experience in June.
“I loved all the history that was integrated into the trip,” said Elizabeth Rohr ’17. “I think my favorite day was the day we went to Oxford. We started off by going to the Kilns, C.S. Lewis’ home. It was really rainy that day, but once we toured the house, we had the opportunity to walk down by the lake near the Kilns. There is a bench, next to the lake, that C.S. Lewis built for him and J.R.R. Tolkien to sit at. The lake was also part of Lewis’ inspiration for the lake in The Magician’s Nephew.”
Rohr is a senior, studying interdisciplinary education with an emphasis in elementary education. She enjoyed seeing in person places she’s studied in history classes, and recommends study-abroad opportunities to other students. Experiencing other cultures gave her a greater appreciation for her own.
“I think that the culture shock of being in a different country changed my perspective of how I view America and Christianity,” said Rohr. “It was great to experience a different culture in Paris and London, but it made me miss the culture here in America. Coming away from the trip, I had a new found appreciation for America and the culture that I grew up in. Something was really springing to me — just how spiritually dry Europe is as a whole. We went to a church service at St. Paul’s in London and Vespers at Notre Dame in Paris. It was a great experience, but I walked away from it missing the expression of worship that is common in America and at Regent.”
Rohr’s favorite memory from the trip was visiting the Globe Theatre in London. She says it started raining in the middle of the show, but the actors continued to perform. She says these types of theaters are few, and it was a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
“We first chose locations connected to significant Christian literature and culture — the Kilns, Christ Church College at Oxford, Kensington Palace, the Île de la Cité in Paris,” said Dr. Pete Fraser. “We then added in places you just have to see like the Eiffel Tower and the Palace of Versailles, and things you just had to experience like the Changing of the Guard at Buckingham Palace.”
Regent’s CAS considered much of the literary and cultural history of London and Paris when preparing the trip. It was offered during the first summer session of classes, which included an English course in Christian literature from Shakespeare through Dickens.