Over the course of its 50 years, the Lawrence University London Centre has never been afraid to adapt to meet new challenges. And, that hasn’t changed with Coronavirus.
When Covid-19 forced the closure of the London Centre in Spring Term 2020, and again for the upcoming Fall Term, an idea was born out of the crisis. If students could not come to the London Centre, then the London Centre would come to the students.
So, for the first time in its history, the Lawrence University London Centre will be offering remote instruction from London for any Lawrence University student interested in signing up. This not only will allow students whose overseas plans were disrupted to regain some of what they have lost, but it will also allow students who may never have considered an off-campus program before to experience one for the first time.
This Fall Term, the London Centre will offer five classes: Urban Anthropology, British Life and Culture, Impact of Empire on Great Britain: 1815-1914, Shakespeare in London, and Diversity on the London Stage. All classes will offer six credits, except for British Life and Culture, which will offer three credits.
Naturally, turning to a purely remote model of instruction offers its challenges. “The London Centre thrives on the experiential learning happening in London itself,” states Christine Hoenigs, Director of the London Centre, “[Covid and online instruction] requires a didactic rethink of our class subjects, how we get students actively involved in each class session. We are all keen to have students back in London and use London as a classroom, but for this term, we will have to be creative, inventive, think outside the box.”
Hoenigs says she and her colleagues, Dr. Kate Connelly and Dr. Nicholas James, plan to pull out all the stops to modify their online classes so students can still connect with London and the U.K. While students attending the London Centre in person would typically enjoy concert and theatre performances, museum visits, and walking tours, for example, remote learning will utilize films, recorded theatre performances, documentaries, Q&As with guest speakers, interviews, archive material and more. “We will … find new ways to connect students with this amazing place and hopefully use the online classes as a foundation for a term when students will be back in London again.”
One positive outcome of offering online instruction this term is that London Centre instructors will get the chance to work with students whom they otherwise would not have met, and they are thrilled at that opportunity. “We hope the Fall Term classes will give students an idea what London and the London Centre has to offer, and that some of them will consider studying at the London Centre when it is possible again,” Hoenigs said.
Online classes will be a unique and potentially once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for students, regardless of their major or level of interest in study abroad, to experience the London Centre for themselves. “Working with students online will bring its own rewards for them and us, and we see it as an opportunity to move on; deal with [the current situation] in a constructive, creative way; and connect with students on a different level.”
London Centre classes will be offered in a remote, synchronous model, and is open to ALL Lawrence University students.
To learn more about the classes that will be offered, including class descriptions, go to our Lawrence University London Centre Academics & Courses page.