COLA: Can you tell us a bit about your background here at UNH and the program you direct?
Professor Lanier: I’m a professor of English, specializing in Renaissance literature and modern adaptation of Shakespeare. I direct the UNH London Program at Regent’s University, and have done so for 11 years.
Credit: Gunter Hentschel
COLA: Why should students consider doing your program? Is it designed for any particular type of student?
Professor Lanier: Students might consider the London Program for several reasons. It’s not designed for a particular kind of student, since Regent’s University offers classes in a wide variety of subjects (many, though not all, with a liberal arts or business focus). Ours is one of the few study abroad programs offered by UNH in a place which is English-speaking; the language barrier is not an issue. The program is designed so that students have many opportunities to take advantage of experiential learning – that is, of courses which involves or emphasize experiences of their subject matter (art, theater, history, literature, music, and sociology all take advantage of being situated in London). Students live and eat on campus, so that they have opportunities to get to know and support each other. We encourage travel to other places in England or to the continent on the weekends, and during the week-long breaks in the semester. And the campus is located in central London, so students will have a full experience of what it’s like to live in this vibrant, international city.
Credit: Rick Ligthlem
COLA: What is your best memory of being in your program location?
Professor Lanier: I have many lovely memories, but my favorite is of enjoying long walks in Regent’s Park, where the campus is located, in the early springtime, when the flowers have just come into bloom and the birds have settled on the pond near the school.
COLA: What advice would you give students who are considering studying abroad through UNH?
Professor Lanier: Keep in mind that studying abroad is an experience you can have ONLY while you’re a college student; once you’ve graduated, it’s very unlikely that you’ll have the opportunity to live for an extended time in a foreign country and get to know its culture in any depth. Take advantage of that opportunity while you can, even though it may mean making some financial sacrifices – this is the kind of experience it’s worth sacrificing for. I also tell students that they need to keep an open mind about the culture they’re in, especially in the first few days they experience it. It will seems strange and disorienting, and one impulse is to shut down and close yourself off, but that’s the time to open yourself up to the adventure and go with the flow. That’s the best way to get the most of the experience.