Kathryn Jacobson, a School of Visual Arts major with double emphases in art history and drawing, spent the fall semester studying abroad at the Centre for Medieval and Renaissance Studies in Oxford, England. Her experience contributed to and expanded her education in many ways.
Jacobson observes, “I encountered pieces of work in person that added an entirely different dimension to the way I study art and history. The program I enrolled in had a heavy focus on study, including hands-on experience in working in an incredible library system and being able to observe close up many manuscripts and Cathedrals. The level of expectation for students in the program was very high.” This rigorous educational setting was complemented by the intimacy of the program: “The real blessing was the friendships I made, both professional and casual. The Centre for Medieval and Renaissance Studies was a very close-knit program of around twenty students and about five permanent staff members. Despite the hard work we managed to have a lot of fun exploring England.”
Studying abroad at Oxford provided Jacobson with many opportunities to directly experience art and architecture that she would have otherwise only studied in books. Jacobson comments, “The ability of being a short bus ride away from London, a ferry ride to Dublin, and a train to Paris was a remarkable gift. I encountered pieces of work in person that added an entirely different dimension to the way I study art and history…Quick access to the Ashmolean Museum, the Bodleian Library, and the National Gallery was a great advantage to my work.”
After graduating from MSUM, Jacobson plans to attend graduate school and seek an art history degree that incorporates cross-disciplinary research and interaction between art historians and artists. Her semester in Oxford has been a catalyst for being successful in achieving those goals. For Jacobson, her Oxford experience “pushed me to be a better scholar and a better person and I plan to take that momentum and honesty into my studies here at MSUM.”
Students interested in studying abroad should discuss opportunities with their advisors and seek information at the Study Abroad office located in Bridges 250 or the Study Abroad website at http://web.mnstate.edu/studyabroad.