Study Abroad Scholarship Sparks Creativity in Nottingham

In January of 2023, I spent three weeks in London studying English theatre on a course with my home institution, Luther College. About two weeks in, I knew I had to figure out how to spend more time in England. Coming from a (very) small town in Iowa, London was an endless well of inspiration. A huge creative and artistic hub, simply being in London had me buzzing with ideas for my writing and artistic endeavors, which is a feeling that creatives everywhere are always chasing after.

Enter: Luther’s Nottingham Year, a year-long study abroad program where students live in Nottingham, UK, and take courses at the University of Nottingham, a Russell Group (The UK’s equivalent to Ivy League) institution. What better opportunity for an English major than to study literature in England for an entire year?

When I returned from my first trip to London, I had 24 hours until applications for the 2023-2024 Nottingham Year closed. Impulsively, I opened a document and got to work. Upon my acceptance, I knew I wanted to make this opportunity possible for myself, but I didn’t know if I would be able to afford it. Thanks to the Sigma Tau Delta Study Abroad Scholarship, my dreams became reality!

I have been living in Nottingham for just over four months now, with about six left to go. In this time, I have taken some amazing modules at the University—including Contemporary British Fiction and The Bible in Music, Art, and Literature—joined the University’s student magazine, done a lot of incredible travel, and fully immersed myself in the vibrant arts culture that doesn’t exist in the same way back in Iowa.

One of the biggest differences I’ve encountered is in the teaching and assessment methods at the University of Nottingham compared to back in the states. Here, a much more laid-back, hands-off approach is taken, where very little of what you do during the semester is included in your final grade calculation. Instead, your grade for your entire course is determined from just one or two essays that you submit at the end of the year. This is stressful in some ways, because it puts a lot of pressure on those essays, but it also allows for more flexibility in your study and the chance to focus more heavily on your specific areas of interest. I don’t necessarily have an opinion on which method I think works better—I think it depends on the person—but I have certainly enjoyed the opportunity to approach my studies in this way, as it really forces you to think about what you are getting out of your modules and what it is you want to take away from them, rather than getting caught up in constant deadlines and grades.

One of my favorite things about England is their commitment to making the Arts accessible to all, which includes HUGE discounts for students to art exhibitions, theatre performances, and other events. As someone in a creative industry, consuming various forms of art and letting yourself be immersed in the work and creations of others is absolutely imperative to the development of your personal style and goals. Getting to spend this time and study in England, thanks to my Study Abroad Scholarship, has provided me with endless experiences that will shape and inspire me for years to come.

Clara Wodny
Spring Study Abroad Scholarship Recipient, 2023
Alpha Beta Xi Chapter
Luther College, IA


Study Abroad Scholarships

Study Abroad Scholarships provide up to $3,000 for the purpose of studying in a program that furthers the applicant’s engagement with Sigma Tau Delta’s mission for an academic term or year in a certified, undergraduate program outside the country in which the nominating chapter is located. The scholarship also provides up to $1,500 for applicants whose study abroad program does not constitute a full academic term. Applicants should demonstrate academic scholarship and chapter service; they also must explain the relevance of their study abroad program and activities to fostering the discipline of English, including literature, language, writing, or literacy.

Scholarship Eligibility Criteria

All applications will be submitted via the AwardSpring Online submission process.

Application Deadline: April 15, 2024, 4:00 p.m. CDT

Past Study Abroad Scholarship Recipients

Study Abroad Scholarship: English Education in Maastricht
Study Abroad Scholarship: Royal Holloway-University of London
Study Abroad and Diversify Your College Experience
On Studying Abroad
Summer Stories from Abroad

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