2023 The United Kingdom and Ireland:
All Honors College study abroad websites may contain information reflective of last year's programs. We are updating each program website with new information in the coming weeks. In the meantime, if you have specific questions regarding 2023 program information, please contact Allen Varela at firstname.lastname@example.org. This year, we established the new Honors Study Abroad WhatsApp group where faculty directors, Honors alumni and students who completed Honors Study Abroad will describe their experiences as well as do their best to answer your questions. You can join this group by emailing email@example.com.
The much-debated and highly publicized June 2016 “Brexit” referendum, in which a narrow majority of British citizens voted to leave the European Union, made newly apparent what has, in fact, been a centuries-old dynamic between the British Isles (England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales) and the European continent. This messy divorce, now in its sixth year and counting, has also revealed tensions within the UK itself, such as the uneasy question of Scottish independence from England, and anxiety over Northern Ireland’s position in the UK. All along, the Republic of Ireland has maintained its independence from the UK, and if anything, become more closely aligned with the EU—exacerbating tensions between it and Northern Ireland. Other divisions abound too, typified by “Megxit” and the near breakup of the beloved English Premier League in 2021. Add into the mix racial, class and religious tensions; a weakened Labour Party; and concern about the vaunted, beloved National Health Service (NHS) in its response to the Covid-19 pandemic: everywhere you look, divisive challenge abounds. Can the United Kingdom hold itself together? And wither Ireland, unbounded yet tied to the UK?
Honors College students enrolling in the UK program in 2023 will have the opportunity to answer some of these questions first-hand. In the spring semester, in IDH 4007, we will emphasize coherence and unity, as we study British (and Irish) history, culture, religion, literature and art, and advances in science, technology, medicine and engineering from the pre-Roman and Roman eras, through the Middle Ages, Renaissance, Restoration and Enlightenment, Industrial Revolution, Victorian and Edwardian ages, the World Wars of the last century, and right up to the present.
This learning about the United Kingdom and Ireland will then be tested and extended in situ, as participants travel in the summer, under the IDH 4008 rubric, observing first-hand, in London and Dublin, Cornwall and Galway, Dingle and Devon and Dorset, if despair and dismay over Brexit and Megxit is real, or not. “United we stand. Divided we fall”: does Churchill’s famous formulation, spoken in June 1941, still apply in speaking of the UK and its Irish neighbor?
To watch UK Study Abroad Honors Hour Session held on September 15, 2022, please visit here.
SO, WHO IS THIS PROGRAM INTENDED FOR?
Essentially, this program is ideal for any Honors College student with a strong interest in, and curiosity about London and the UK, Dublin and Ireland, irrespective of major and course of study at FIU. While common course work, assignments, and travel will emphasize history, culture, the arts and design, politics, and social trends through time, this should not preclude students working in the sciences and engineering, pre-med and nursing, business, or hospitality from enrolling. Quite the opposite, the participation of students from a range of disciplines will only strengthen the course, ensuring its interdisciplinary aspirations. In short, this UK Study Abroad trip aspires to embody the very principles of broad learning and inquiry in a range of disciplines that the FIU Honors College promotes and espouses. Indeed, all are welcome.
WHERE WILL WE TRAVEL WHEN WE ARE IN THE UK?
We will spend two intense, exciting weeks in London, with daytrips to Canterbury, Cambridge, Hampton Court and either Lullingstone Roman villa or another location to be determined. Then, we’ll head to Ireland for eight days, beginning in the west as we visit Dingle and Galway, and concluding with a long weekend in Dublin, where we will arrive on June 16, “Bloomsday.” We will then fly down to Cornwall, concluding our month in the southwest corner of England, touring the Cornish landscape, plus Devon and Dorset, marked by moors and wild coastline. This extended month-long adventure will include travel on trains, buses, trams, taxis, the Tube, and planes!
WHEN IS THE TRIP?
We will be in London from May 28 – June 11, and then traveling in Ireland and southwestern England from June 11 – June 26, 2023.
LEVEL OF PHYSICAL ACTIVITY:
WHY IS THIS A SUMMER C COURSE?
Our travel dates straddle Summer A and Summer B, primarily to accommodate Professor Sutton’s personal schedule. Please keep in mind that while in England and Ireland, your job is to see things, experience the countryside, take in the sights, and explore. You are essentially conducting research, or doing your “field work,” for your independent project for IDH 4008. When you return to Miami in late June or early July, you will have about four weeks (the remainder of Summer B term), to pull together your findings and discoveries made whilst abroad, and craft a beautifully cogent, extended essay or project. Please note that the dates of travel abroad would preclude your registering for face-to-face, on campus courses in either Summer A or Summer B.
HOW ARE WE GOING TO GET AROUND?
While in London, we will travel by foot (plan to walk a whole lot!), by those iconic red double-decker buses, and by subway (London’s Tube.) Most travel outside of London will be by train or by bus (coach). Two one-way flights, London to Shannon and Dublin to Newquay (Cornwall), are also planned as part of your itinerary.
WHERE ARE WE GOING TO LIVE WHILE WE’RE IN ENGLAND, NORTHERN IRELAND, AND WALES?
In London, students will stay at the FSU Study Center, or nearby; these flats are well-appointed, with all necessities, and located in Bloomsbury, very near the British Museum. Outside of the capital, students will be lodged in clean, safe hotels; breakfasts are usually included with overnight stays. You will always room with at least one other student on the program—a great way to foster life-long friends.
SO HOW MUCH DOES THIS PROGRAM COST?
The cost of the 2023 UK program is $3,400. This includes the $500 non-refundable Honors College administrative fee; lodging for the duration of the trip; local transportation; admission to numerous museums, monuments, and other sites; theatre and concert tickets; and mandatory insurance. Program costs DO NOT include the $195 Study Abroad non-refundable fee, FIU instructional fees (6 credits, $205.57 per credit), transatlantic airfare, meals, and personal expenses are also NOT included.
United Kingdom and Ireland: Uneasy Neighbors?
Spring 2023, On campus – Thursdays 9:30 am – 12:15 pm: IDH 4007 (3 credits);
Summer C 2023, Abroad: IDH 4008 (3 credits)
The program fulfills one year of Honors credit requirements (6 credits)
WHO IS PROFESSOR SUTTON?
Professor James Sutton was born and raised in Michigan; he received undergraduate and Master’s degrees in English from Northwestern and Michigan and holds a Ph.D. in Renaissance Studies (1995) from Yale. His early research focused on the interplay of art, architecture, dramatic performance, politics, and court intrigue in England during the reigns of Queen Elizabeth I and King James I. He currently teaches and studies Shakespeare and his plays’ global appropriation and adaptation, focusing on Slovenia and South Florida. He recently co-edited a book entitled Exile in Global Literature and Culture: Homes Found and Lost, with FIU colleague Professor Asher Milbauer. This publication has led to further inquiry on the relationship of Shakespeare to exile and dislocation. Sutton is an Associate Professor in FIU’s English department, which he chaired from 2008-2016. In early 2017, Sutton spent six months in Slovenia, teaching literature at two Slovenian universities and travelling widely about central Europe. He joined the FIU Honors College—a long term goal—in the fall of 2017 and takes pride in teaching IDH 1001 and 1002 as part of the famous Gerstman/Abukhodeir/Sutton POD ever since. Long the co-director of the successful FIU Study Abroad program, “Shakespeare in England,” Professor Sutton created and launched this Honors College UK program in 2019, journeying to London, York, Scotland and the Highlands, the Lake District, Manchester, and Stratford-upon-Avon. Although Covid-19 nixed travel abroad in 2020 and 2021, Sutton successfully jump-started the program once again in 2022, leading a fantastic group of 20 students to London, Oxford, Manchester and Liverpool, Belfast and Northern Ireland, Wales, and Bath + Stonehenge. In 2023, he seeks a new cohort of 20 adventurous, curious students prepared for new endeavors in England and Ireland. If you have any questions, please reach out to him at firstname.lastname@example.org.