Student Spotlight: Maymester 2017

Jul 10, 2017

Every year, the Clements Center takes 20 UT undergraduate students to London for a unique four-week Maymester study abroad program to study the US-UK special relationship at King's College London. 

The program is taught at King's College London and includes visits to important landmarks in British cultural heritage and Anglo-American strategic history, as well as private events with senior policymakers and historians.  

Here's just a little snapshot of what our students experienced during Maymester 2017:

Immediately after landing, our students wasted no time exploring London with a city tour. 

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Their first week in London included lectures from esteemed King's College London professors and trips to the Imperial War Museum and Churchill War Rooms. 

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"[The KCL lectures] blew me away. I was so interested by every single speaker and how incredible it was to get to hear from all of them." - Maymester 2017 student

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That weekend they also got the opportunity to tour Oxford University and visit the Oxford University Strategic Studies Group. 

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 "[During the Maymester], I have learned a deeper appreciation for the British resilience during both World Wars and the "special relationship" both our countries have. More importantly [are] the personal interactions I had with not only my fellow students, but the lecturers and speakers as well. I have gained a network which would not be possible without this program." - Maymester 2017 student 

Their second week in London was kicked off with a trip to the UK Parliament and a Monday morning lecture by LBJ Professor and Clements Executive Director Will Inboden on the Foundations of American Foreign Policy. 

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 "My favorite [excursion] was parliament, since it provided context for understanding the British political system and historical precedent." - Maymester 2017 student 

 Intelligence Studies Project Director Steve Slick joined mid-week to take the students to Bletchley Park, a cryptanalysis center during World War II instrumental in breaking secret Nazi ciphers. 

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That weekend, students took a bus to France and participated in a 4 day tour of Normandy and Paris. They visited Utah Beach, Juno Beach, Caen, the American Cemetery, German Cemetery, and Point du Hoc. In Paris, they visited Les Invalides & Arc De Triomphe.

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 "I loved these places because they really personalized America's huge sacrifice in Europe and made me feel exceptionally proud to be an American." - Maymester 2017 student

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Following their marathon long-weekend in France, students returned to King's College London for a lecture on the US & UK in the Middle East, a lecture on Grand Strategy in Asia, and a lecture on Small Wars strategy. 

Their week was continued with a trip to the National Archives for aworkshop on Cold War archives, followed by an election viewing party.

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Their week wasn't done yet! On Friday and Saturday they took two day trips to Dover and Cambridge to see theDover Castle,Battle of Britain Memorial, and Cambridge American Cemetery. 

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Their final week in London include KCL lectures on Terrorism and the Liberal State, as well as Anglo-American relations in the Modern Era. After a busy 4 weeks in London, they returned home--more knowledgable about the US-UK special relationship, 20th century history, and grand strategy.

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If you're interested in learning more about how to apply to the 2018 Maymester--click here