Asbury students return from Oxford

WILMORE, KY—Four Asbury College students, seniors Thad Austin, Megan Coe, Ashleigh Graves and Mindy Lapish, spent several weeks at Oxford University in England as part of the Oxford Summer Programme.

This program is part of BestSemester through the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities of which Asbury College is a member.

According to their web site, the Oxford program, “is designed to enable students to gain a more comprehensive understanding of the relationship between Christianity and

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culture and to do specialized work under Oxford academics.”

The Asbury College students were part of a group of more than 30 Christian College students from across the U.S. and Canada. Most of the students lived together at a large old home called “The Vines.”

Lapish said, “A lot of us came from similar schools and we were obviously really interested in learning, so there were some great conversations that took place. I also loved the city of Oxford itself.”

All of the students became good friends and even enjoyed their own July 4th celebration. “ We decided it would be a great idea to dress up and throw tea over the Magdalene Bridge to commemorate the Boston Team Party,” Graves said. “Everyone was whooping and screaming and someone read the Declaration of Independence very solemnly.”

Graves took a literature course, “Jane Austen and the Rise of the Woman Novelist” and all four Asbury College students were enrolled in the same theology course. Discussion topics ranged from 14th Century Cartography to Implications of Global Warming, but as Graves noted, “Everything came together in the end.”

Lapish also took a course on “The Chronicles of Narnia.” While Asbury College and Oxford are different, she said felt very prepared academically.

Each week, the group took class field trips to local attractions such as Stonehenge, St. Albans and Salisbury.

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Ashleigh Graves

The group also ventured out on their own during the weekends. Graves just happened to be in London on the day that England lost the World Cup. She said that a collective scream could be heard through the streets when the game was lost. “People are mad about the World Cup over here,” she said.

“This was a unique opportunity for me to get a taste of studying in a very different context,” Graves said. “Oxford University is one of my top grad school choices, so it was great to get a feel for what getting a degree there would be like.”

BestSemester offers culture-crossing programs in Australia, China, Latin American, the Middle East, Russia and Uganda. They also offer several culture-shaping programs including the American Studies Program (Washington, D.C.), the Contemporary Music Center (Martha’s Vineyard), the Los Angeles Film Studies Center and the Washington Journalism Center.

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