Not necessarily tired of life: Leaving London for Field Study

by Nermin Abdulla

  • 17 March 2015
York Minster at Night.

Nermin Abdulla, York Minster at Night. ,

In February, the Yale-in-London students went on an extended field trip to York. Every session of the programme has one extended trip that is academic in nature and associated with one or more of the classes the students are taking. The trip usually lasts 3 days and thus allows the class to travel outside of London. You may think why leave London at all? There are so many museums, galleries, archives, and other resources here that you could in theory teach a course in its entirety without leaving Zone One! But there are many benefits to the inclusion of an extended trip that takes the students outside of London.

Handling prints at the National Media Museum

Aleithia Low, Handling prints at the National Media Museum,

The students are able to view the materials they are studying in a different context and see things that aren’t located within the radius of the M25. For example, this term the students visited York and Bradford for their courses on ‘Time and Place in Early Modern England’ and ‘Photography and the Visual Imagination in Victorian and Edwardian Britain’. On this trip the students not only had the chance to see the National Media Museum’s fantastic photography collection but they also had the opportunity to handle the archive material themselves, an experience unfamiliar to a number of the class. The students also saw the fantastic ruins of Fountains Abbey in Ripon first hand rather than just looking at pictures in class, and here in lies the entire reason behind the program.

Class at Fountains Abbey

Nermin Abdulla, Class at Fountains Abbey,

As a study abroad program we offer students an opportunity to step out of their classroom and to learn in the field. When promoting the program on the Yale campus in New Haven the one thing I always say to Yalies is, why would just settle for just a picture on a projector screen when you have the chance to see the real thing? To breathe the air in which that painting sits, to feel the ebb and flow of the crowd around you as they filter through the room of that museum, all while taking a Yale credit course? Yale in London works hard to ensure that the students get that experience and that we send students back to their home campus who are more educated not only in British art, history, theatre, and literature but also more educated about the world.

About the author

  • Learning Programme Manager at the Paul Mellon Centre