Cambridge is a delightful city, spiced by the international flavor of students from across the globe. This summer there are students from 35 nations enrolled in several different graduate-level disciplines in the International Summer School, and high-school age students studying language in the various schools and colleges.
The University of Cambridge is made up of 31 colleges and more than 150 departments. Each college is independent, recruiting its own students and faculty, but college faculty members teach in the various departments (physics, languages, etc.) and students take courses from any of the departments.
The River Cam runs through the city and there are great walks (as well as punting trips— using long poles to propel a boat) along the river. I am staying at Westcott House, the seminary, in a one-bedroom flat. My class day starts at 9a.m. and ends at 3:30, and most evenings I have been going back to the flat, fixing dinner and preparing for the next day’s lesson. The faculty is terrific, and the 23 students from 13 countries in this international relations course are energizing. It is fascinating to get the many different perspectives on international events, ranging from the Middle East to China. Perhaps the most spirited discussion centered on the controversial cartoons printed in Danish newspapers that were considered anti-Islam by Muslims across the world. The students from Denmark and the Netherlands were passionate in challenging the professor on the issue of freedom of speech. Kennon arrives on Monday and I will do a little more exploring of the area with her.