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Student Reports: Carrie Lloyd, England, 2010, Part Four

Carrie Lloyd in England

Attending the University of Tennessee as an undergraduate Chemical Engineer has opened more doors than I had ever imagined possible.  As the state’s flagship, research-extensive university, UT Knoxville is among the nation’s top public universities.  This year U.S. News and World Report ranked our Tickle College of Engineering undergraduate program 32nd among public institutions and 64th nationwide.  Such distinctions are based on several factors, including any opportunity to travel abroad.  UT excels in this regard and provides ample resources for those students who wish to study or work overseas.  Understandably, it was relatively simply to find a study abroad program that tailored to my needs and expectations and I am pleased to find myself planning to visit Cambridge, England.

The program I settled on is a UT featured mini-term trip called “From the Cloister to the College: The Birth of the University” and focuses primarily on ancient English history.  England has always fascinated me due its ancient and vibrant past.  One of my favorite reading genres is historical fiction, particularly regarding medieval English monarchs.  Besides lectures given by a UT professor, the program includes trips to popular sites such as Oxford, Canterbury Cathedral, Eton College, Ely Cathedral, Bury St. Edmunds, Castle Acre Priory, and several major sites in London.  In addition to fulfilling my Chancellor’s Honors Program study abroad requirement and being particularly interesting, the class will also satisfy a Cultures and Civilizations graduation necessity.

Not only is this trip going to be an invaluable experience during my undergrad years, it will no doubt have implications after graduation.  As an engineer specializing in research, my field will be incredibly broad.  Science is an international subject and breakthroughs are made to mutual benefit.  As an engineer in the 21st century, it wouldn’t be unusual to visit a sister plant in Switzerland or to supervise a study in Japan.  The world is getting smaller as companies which were once based solely in their native countries expand and become international efforts.  As the demands of companies change, I will be a better prepared and more valued employee because I will have taken this initial step towards broadening my horizons.