Will Amberger ’19 traveled to London over Spring Break as part of the Common Law Immersion Experience. Lead by Professors Scott Himsel and Stephen Morillo, the group’s experiences ranged from visiting historic battle sites to sitting in on a real terrorism travel in the United Kingdom Supreme Court.
What was your favorite part of your immersion experience?
My favorite part was touring the Battle of Hastings, one of the most significant battles in human history. The Battle of Hastings in 1066 set the foundation for our course and really that of modern England. It was an incredible experience to learn about the origins of Common Law and English society as we understand it today. It was also really valuable to have time to ourselves to explore and experience London as a city and culture.
What surprised you most about the experience?
The accessibility of the English Court system – we were able to explore so many different courts and observe a lot of different trials. We even had the opportunity to sit in on a hearing in the UK Supreme Court! The freedom we had to study the different courts made this a really exciting trip.
What was the biggest lesson you learned?
The importance of embracing the subject matter directly. We read a ton of different materials leading up to our trip, but actually being in London and interacting with the history cemented my knowledge and appreciation for the course material.
What has been your biggest takeaway from the experience?
I now have a deeper understanding and appreciation of English history and its influence on the United States throughout history. We were able to relate things we saw in London to our course material, and it helped me understand exactly how the United States, especially its legal system, has been influenced by England.
Why are immersion learning trips important?
Immersion trips are extremely important because they allow you to engage the class at another level. You just can’t learn or appreciate the subject in the same way if you stay in the classroom. Immersion trips are great because you can get your hands dirty and directly apply what you learn in class to real life. It’s a kind of “learning by doing” that is extraordinarily valuable.