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British Isles

A PLNU Study Abroad Trip

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Nov '10

More Meetings Scheduled in November

There’s still time! Four new meetings have a been scheduled, all at 6:00pm, in BAC 151:

1.  Tuesday Nov. 9

2.  Wednesday Nov. 10

3.  Tuesday Nov. 16

4.  Wednesday Nov. 17

The deadline to sign up has been extended and is now Tuesday, Nov. 30.

2011 Trip Info Power Point Slide Show
2011 Trip Agreement Form

*When viewing documents in this blog, it is best to use the Firefox Mozilla browser and not Internet Explorer.

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Oct '10

2011 British Isles Trip Poster

Want to study abroad? Can’t go for a whole semester?

You can earn 3-6 Gen-Ed or LJML upper-division course credits*



Join Dr. Rick Hill and a limited group of students for study plus adventure in BOTH Irelands (rural West Eire, Dublin, Belfast), Scotland’s Highlands AND Edinburgh Lowlands, PLUS traverse England from historic York to Stratford and Oxford, with five days in LONDON.

All group attractions, museum entrances, play tickets, and most meals are included in the discount tour rate of ~$ 3100 (plus summer class tuition)*

DATES: MAY 1 7 – JUNE 8, 2010

Click on or paste in this link to view an extensive blog of last summer’s trip http://paullangphotography.com/british_isles/

And  this link to view a video of the trip http://vimeo.com/14582742

Do you know these people? They all went on the Summer 2010 study abroad, and they would be happy to chat  with you about the experience. You can email them or talk with them when you see them: Hallie Steiner, Drew Sheldon, Megan Osborne, Chelsea Oakes, Cory Saul, Ali Reinhardt, Kelsey Kolar, Kristina Martinez, Emily McKibben

SO, check out the links, talk to the experienced travelers AND

Attend one of the information meetings NEXT WEEK:

TUES October 19 OR

WED October 20 OR

THURS October 21

at 6:00 p.m. in Bond Center, Room 151


FOR FURTHER INFORMATION, email  Dr. RICK HILL rhill@pointloma.edu or call x2670 or stop by Dr. Hill’s office BAC 126

or see Robin Lang at Ryan Library or email robindoddslang@pointloma.edu or call x2372.

* Classes available include LIT 202 / 203 (World Lit), LIT 255 (British Authors), LIT 490 (Scots and Irish Lit), and WRI 323 (Creative Nonfiction/Travel Writing).

* Fee estimate based on 20 students. Thanks to lower lodging prices and a better international exchange rate, the fee estimate has been cut $ 750 from the 2008 price.

Final tour fee depends on airfare and number of students at time of booking. The more students on the tour, the lower the tour fee.

*Summer Tuition is additional at the regular PLNU summer school rate ( $850 per credit hour; $2550 for a three-credit course).


2011 Trip Info PPT Show

2011 Trip Agreement Form

(The information in this post is for the 2011 trip. The rest of the information in this blog is from the 2010 trip and will give you a good idea of what to expect on next year’s trip. Feel free to explore. Send me an email if you have any questions: robindoddslang@pointloma.edu)

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Oct '10

2010 British Isles Trip Video

British Isles PLNU Study Abroad Trip 2010 from Paul Lang on Vimeo.

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Jun '10


Well, this amazing journey is almost over, with the trip coming to a close tomorrow. Many students are staying on in Europe to continue their adventures. It’s been an amazing and wonderfully crisis-free journey, which is no small feat considering the number of miles we have covered with a total of 28 people.

From our last update, we visited Bath and did a drive-by at Stonehenge before heading to London. In Bath, we visited the ruins of a Roman Bath, which are actually beneath the current street level of the city. Buildings were actually built over the Roman ruins which lay forgotten and undiscovered for hundreds of years. Continuing on our way to London we were pressed for time, but we still managed to drive by Stonehenge. Even though we weren’t able to stop, we got within about 15 feet of how close you are allowed to get to the amazing and mysterious monument.

In London, once checked into our hotel, we rushed to the nearest Tube stop (the London subway is known as the Tube) and headed to the London Eye, the huge Ferris Wheel that gives you views of the entire city. The London Eye is large enough that our entire group fit into one pod with room to spare!

On Friday, our second day in London, we decided to tackle a city bus tour, Westminster Abbey, the Tower of London, a group dinner, and Macbeth at the Globe Theater all in one day, which would then give the students a free weekend with no group activities. The extra free time was welcomed by everyone, as the entire group was quickly discovering how much London has to offer and the students were eager to explore and experience the city in small groups at their own pace. Some students traveled to Paris one one of the free days while others stayed in town to catch a show or two. The British Museum, British Library, and National Art Gallery were at the top of most people’s list to see. Paul, one of the group leaders, even spotted a few celebrities when he happened across a red carpet for the British television Awards.

Today, Monday, we visited St. Paul’s Cathedral and braved the long walk up the stairs to the top of the observation dome. After St. Paul’s, some of the group went to Hampton Court Palace while the rest caught one more show or finished checking items off their London must-do list.

Tomorrow we are off to the airport in the morning where we will be completing this three-week journey. Thanks to everyone for making this trip such a memorable one! We will be putting together photos, a trip video, and a photo-book of the trip shortly, so stay in touch and keep checking back on this site.

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Jun '10

Stratford and Oxford

On Sunday we drove from York to Haworth in the Yorkshire Moors to visit the Bronte Sister Parsonage Museum. We saw a slide show, did a walking tour, and then visited the museum. The museum had many artifacts that belonged to the Bronte family. Seeing Haworth in person really put the sisters’ writing in perspective, particularly Emily’s Wuthering Heights.

Sunday evening we checked in at the Falcon Hotel in Stratford-upon-Avon, the building of which stood in Shakespeare’s day. The hotel was actually located directly across the street from New Place, which is the house Shakespeare bought once he became popular and started making money as a playwright.

Monday morning we visited Shakespeare’s birthplace. The exhibit included a copy of the First Folio of Shakespeare’s plays. These first editions are rare and it was exciting to see in person. Following the birthplace, we drove about 20 minutes out to a small 17th century village on the edge of the Cottswalds called Warmington where PLNU alum, Stacy Conway nee Higinbotham, lives with her husband, Mark, and two children, George and Grace. Stacy took us for a walk  around her village, then we had lunch in the village pub. Visiting Stacy’s home and village was a relaxing break from all the sightseeing. (Thanks, Stacy!)

Monday afternoon was spent exploring Warwick Castle and the surrounding grounds. It was a bank holiday, so the place was packed with local families enjoying the nice weather. That evening we all saw Romeo and Juliet with the Royal Shakespeare Company in Stratford.

Tuesday morning we headed to Oxford, stopping on the way at Mary Arden’s farm and Blenheim Palace.  Mary Arden was Shakespeare’s mother. The buildings and grounds have been restored and continue today was a working Tutor farm. At Blenheim Palace we toured the staterooms and the surrounding grounds.

Tuesday evening everyone was free to explore Oxford on their own. Wednesday morning we kept a 9am appointment to tour C.S. Lewis’s home at the Kilns, which is just outside Oxford. We also visited the pond at the Kilns and Lewis’s church and grave. On the way back we stopped to visit J. R. R. Tolkein’s grave. Lewis and Tolkein were good friends and part of a group that called themselves the Inklings. Several in the group had a meal at the Eagle and Child Pub where the Inklings met every Tuesday for more than twenty years. Others in the group toured the Bodleian Library and Christ Church Collage, while some took the double decker sightseeing tour bus around the city. Paul and I climbed up to the tower at St. Mary’s and visited Blackwell’s Book Shop.

This morning we are on our way to London with stopped planned in Bath, to see Jane Austen sites and the Roman baths, and in Stonehenge. We have a “flight” schedule on the London Eye this evening.

The weather today is perfect, as it was yesterday: blue skies and warm temperatures.

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May '10

Edinburgh and York

Thursday morning we woke up in Inverness. Some of us slept in while about half the group visited Culloden Battlefield where the Jacobites fought one last battle against British forces in 1746. We then drove down from the highlands to Edinburgh in the lowlands. After checking in at the Knight Residence, we walked up to the Royal Mile at the foot of the castle for a group dinner at Deacon Brodie’s Tavern. Everyone enjoyed the traditional food and some even tried haggis. It was Chelsea’s birthday, so we all signed a card for her. After dinner it sprinkled a bit on Thursday evening, but we still wandered the streets and closes of Edinburgh’s High Street and Grassmarket areas.

Friday morning we headed back up to the castle for an entertaining tour. The castle sits on a high volcanic rock in the middle of the city, so the views are amazing. You can see out over the city and the Firth of Forth. Following the castle, we walked a few blocks down the Royal Mile to the Edinburgh Writers’ Museum to view exhibits on Robert Louis Stevenson, Sir Walter Scott, and Robert Burns, among others. As a group we then walked down to Waverly Bridge to catch a city bus tour. From there, everyone went their separate ways to explore what was most interesting to them.

Paul and I hiked Arthur’s Seat and met Katie P., Allie R., Cynthia G., and Dr. Hill on the way down. We could see all the way to the ocean from the top. Just as we exited the park we were caught in a downpour, though, luckily, it only lasted a few minutes.

Saturday morning we set out for York, stopping at Hadrian’s Wall on the way. While we were at the Roman fort, it was windy and threatening rain, and it rained hard once we go on the bus, though we only had to deal with a few sprinkles once we got to York. Once we checked in at the Huntington House, we explored the walled city of York in the mist. York Minster Cathedral was spectacular. Some of us went there for a prayer and communion service where we followed along in the Book of Common Prayer.

We’re now on our way to the Bronte Parsonage Museum for a walking tour of the village of Haworth where the Bronte sisters spent most their lives. From there, we’ll drive down to Stratford-upon-Avon for the next two nights where we’ll visit Shakespeare sights, a 17th century village, and Warwick Castle.

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May '10

Belfast to Inverness

We took an early ferry from Belfast to Scotland on Monday morning. Once in Scotland, we drove up to Oban via Dumbarton Castle, which has withstood Viking raids and once hosted William Wallace and Mary Queen of Scots. We all had fun exploring the grounds and checking out the view of the loch below. The  rest of the drive was gorgeous, taking us past Loch Lomond, Loch Etvie, and Loch Awe. Though the weather was still clear, it was a bit cooler in Oban, which is a port town known as the gateway to the Hebrides. The sun didn’t set until well after 10pm, so we all enjoyed wandering the town and some even hiked up to the colosseum at the top of the hill.

After breakfast overlooking the bay, we headed out from Oban east towards Inverness. Our route took us along the Caledonia Canal, which cuts straight across the highlands. We made our way through lush green countryside, passing Ben Nevis, the highest point in the UK, which still shelters a few sparse patches of snow.

We stopped at Urquhat Castle, which overlooks Loch Ness, then settled down to a group lunch at the Clansman Hotel and Restaurant. It hailed a bit while we were at lunch. It is much colder here than Ireland! We’re now in Inverness where we’re enjoying our stay at the Palace Hotel, which sits on the River Ness right across from the castle. Some of us may check out the local trad music scene later this evening.

Tomorrow, everyone has the option to sleep in or visit Culloden Battle Field, where the Scots made their last stand against the British in 1746. We’ll then drive down to the Lowlands for two nights in Edinburgh.

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May '10

Derry to Belfast Update

Yesterday we headed out early from Dingle to catch a ferry across the River Shannon, which was followed by a drive through the Burren. On the way, we stopped at an ancient stone tomb. The weather was warm again, so it was a nice reprieve to wander the shaded woods at Coole Park, which was folklorist and play write Lady Gregory’s estate. After a short stop at W. B. Yeat’s tower, Thor Ballylee, we made our way up to Sligo for the night.

This morning we were up for an early start again for our drive to Derry. After a walk atop the medieval wall that encases the city, We visited the Free Derry Museum and some of us took a walking tour of the local murals with the Bogside Artists.

This afternoon, while stopped to visit St. Mark’s, C. S. Lewis’s home church, an overzealous Canadian tourist ran her rented vehicle into our bus. We were stopped at the time and no one was hurt. There was a broken tail light and popped tire, but even so, Jerry, our driver, was able to drive in the bus to our lodgings for the night. The Canadian woman reported that she all of a sudden realized that she was on the wrong side of the road and panicked, which resulted in her clipping the corner of our bus.

Tonight we’re in Belfast. We leave on an early ferry to Scotland, where we will drive up the West Coast a bit and stay the night in Oban, which is a small town on the coast.

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May '10

Dingle, Ireland

We’ve had the most amazing weather in Dingle: upper 70′s and not a cloud in the sky. We may need to buy some sunscreen for tomorrow.

Local guide and retired police chief Tim Collins rode with us on our coach for a three hour tour of Dingle. I think many of us can attest that we saw the most beautiful countryside that we’ve ever seen while exploring the Dingle Peninsula today.

The water was a turquoise blue at some beaches and the hillsides were a lush green, spotted with bright yellow flowering bushes and bright pink fresia. We all had fun watching (and petting) the local baby ponies, calfs, and lambs.

Tim did a great job telling us about the local history spanning the last 6,000 years. We even visited honeycomb huts that were part of a local monastic community from 7th century A.D. and the remains of a Norman church build in the 12th century.

The sun dial, alphabet rock, and early Celtic cross were some interesting artifacts that we were able to examine up close.

After the tour, everyone was free to pick from the many outdoor activities available in Dingle. Some of us went on a tour hour boat ride to the Blasket Islands, some went bike riding and horse back riding, while others went hiking. It’s 8:45pm here at the moment and it is still sunny and warm out.

Most of the group is planning on listening to live traditional Irish music at any of the many pubs that offer it on Saturday night.

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May '10

Done with Dublin, on to Dingle!

After two lovely nights in Dublin, today we drove to the small town of Dingle, located on the western shore of Ireland. We are at the further point West in Ireland, and the locals like to say the next parish over is Boston.

Yesterday morning we broke in our walking shoes and headed to the National Museum at Collin’s Barracks followed by a visit to the Dublin Writers’ Museum. Then, everyone had a great time at last night’s group dinner at the Irish House Party, which featured Irish Trad music and dancing, plus some talented performances by our vary own PLNU students—thanks Kelsey and Elisa!

Today , after a brief stop in Limmerick to tour some sites featured in Frank McCourt’s Angela’s Ashes we drove out to the Dingle Peninsula. Some students jumped on a tour boat to see Fungi, the famous Dingle Dolphin, who showed up as expected.

Tomorrow morning we’re looking forward to three hour guided tour of the peninsula with former Dingle police chief and amateur archeologist Tim Collins. We’ll spend another night here in Dingle before we head to Sligo.

Oh, and the weather is perfect here in Dingle—balmy and a bit of blue sky during the day, though it became a little chilly once the sun set after well past 9pm.

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