During my nine weeks here, I am taking Museums and Galleries of London and Contemporary British Culture. Even in just the short amount of time I’ve been here, not only have I learned a lot, but I have also realized some differences between the teaching methods in London and the teaching methods in the States.
One of these is the way the class is conducted. Even though I go to a smaller school where my classes usually have discussions, the classes that I’m taking here in London are primarily based around discussion. To me, this is important because we are in a completely different culture, and why not discuss these differences with professors who know the culture better than we do? And the roles can be reversed as well; in my British Culture class, a student asked if our professor had ever been to America, and he had not. Since many of us were new to London, and our professor has never been to the States, we were able to compare differences and talk about stereotypes that both cultures had of each other. I find this unique because even in classes that someone may take at their home school, they aren’t always able to experience the lifestyle firsthand and in person while discussing it, especially with a true local!
My Museums and Galleries class visits a different location almost every day, so needless to say, I’m a big fan of this. By visiting the actual museums and viewing the artwork within the galleries, it is a completely different experience that pleasantly took me by surprise. Learning about artwork through a textbook and the internet was never the most exciting to me. However, walking into a museum adds so much life to the art we are learning about. Actually viewing and hearing about the art in the larger-than-life galleries creates a story to follow, from how it was made to how it ended up in the gallery in which it is displayed. Students become truly intrigued in what they are learning.
Overall, I couldn’t be happier with the classes that I’m taking right now. Those, along with all of the great people I’ve met, have allowed me to already feel right at home, and I can’t wait to see what the next eight weeks bring!