Busy day, NEW COURSE, and an unexpected break

Yesterday broke foggy and cold in Oxford which was actually very nice. It brought back so many memories of my own days as a student here, making my way into town for a day in the Oriental Institute researching and occasionally writing. This day I took my DSLR, looking every bit the tourist, and captured what I hope will be some nice shots of the colleges through the fog. I won’t be able to upload those photos until I get home, but I also had my point-and-shoot and have a few to share. It is a visual cliché, but Christ Church really is such a beautiful college, how could I not?

Christ Church War Memorial Gardens, looking back towards the college.

As the day warmed up the weather cleared leaving the sky crystal clear. I headed over to Mansfield College at 10 am to begin a day full of activity. Scholar and PLA student Kaitlyn Randol met me at their student accommodations and showed me around. Why? Because…

We are developing a new study abroad opportunity for our incoming first year students! This won’t be up and running until summer 2012, but it will be two 3-credit courses, CAS 100H, which is a speech class that every Penn Staters must take, and an honors course on “Ethics of Global Leadership,” taught be yours truly. The first three weeks will be taught in July at University Park and then we will all pack up and head over to Oxford for three weeks with special guests and field trips. We are working through the details now and should have it already for our incoming students next summer. Stay tuned!

After meetings with Mansfield College and lunch and tea in the Senior Common Room (where the fellows of a college hang out, the grad students have the “Middle Common Room,” and undergraduates have the “Junior Common Room”) I hoofed it up the Banbury Road to St. Clare’s College international high school. It is quite an impressive school that offers and International Baccalaureate program. I met with 18 students who will be applying for college this coming year.

The night ended with a wonderful evening with two of our current students studying in Oxford for the year and two graduates. They were incredibly long suffering of the old man telling stories about when he was studying in the city of dreaming spires (can you think of a better way to spend the first four years of your married life?) and the food was very good. I cannot tell you how proud I am of all our students, past and present. It was such a wonderful evening!

Today I was supposed to be off to Wales for a visit with another international school but sadly they are all struck down with the flu and cancelled. The good news is I have a day free in Oxford! So I am taking my cameras and heading out for a bit more touring and visiting with old friends.

Location:Oxford, UK

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