Residential Commons in Oxford

Eight SMU undergraduates and four faculty and staff members are exploring the birthplace of residential colleges: Oxford, England. With stops in London, Cambridge, and Bath, this group of residential leaders are searching to answer the question, “What is the culture of a true residential college system?” The students, faculty and staff hope to bring back ideas and traditions to enhance SMU’s new Residential Commons system.

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Learning beyond the classroom: Stonehenge and Bath

2014-08-02 08.17.09An update from Alexis, a sophomore majoring in electrical engineering and a member of the Residential Commons Leadership Corps:

Today we traveled for many hours to visit two very historical places in England. First, we went to the town of Bath. Our first stop in Bath was to the Royal Crest, where many of the wealthy English royalty used to stay and vacation, and it is now home to the most expensive hotel in all of England.

After spending some time soaking in the Royal Crest we traveled to the ancient Roman ruins of Bath. While in the ruins we had an audio tour and learned about the architecture of the ruins, the people who built the ruins, and about all of the historical pieces that were preserved from the ruins after all of these years. We ended our tour with a sample of the water from a natural hot water spring. From the hot springs, to the artifacts, to the actual bath, the ruins gave us great insight as to what life was like in historic England.

Second, we traveled to Stonehenge. The ancient temple was built over 4,500 years ago and was designed to align with the movements of the sun. We had fun walking around the site, exploring the stones, and learning about how and why they were built. Although our time at Stonehenge was short, it was definitely a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

I liked visiting Bath and Stonehenge because it shows that while in college you can explore and learn in and outside of the classroom. We learned about so much of England’s history today just by visiting these two places. In Dallas we have many of the same opportunities to learn about history and arts with so many museums and exhibitions that happen all around the city. Today has been so insightful, and all of us have learned a great deal about England’s heritage.

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