Day 3 and 4 – Shakespeare and rowing: A first-hand account of studying abroad

By Catherine Carter

Hello Huskie nation! I’m sorry for the delay in getting back, but I was sick yesterday and fell asleep before I could write to you all. So I guess now I can talk about two days! Spending the Fourth of July here in England was so weird! For the first time in the nineteen years of my life, there were no fireworks on the Fourth! It was just a normal day to everyone else, and there was hardly any mention of the holiday; although there was one group of British college kids who grilled burgers and hot dogs, decorated with American flags and had a small celebration. I’m not entirely sure what they were celebrating though – getting rid of us? 

After dinner, I went to see a play in Oxford, about ten minutes away from the college. I got a front row seat to Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, but what I didn’t know was that the production was put on by MCS Drama, a children’s company. I was absolutely blown away by their amazing talents! They were incredible and really brought the show to life. (The performance was also ten times better because they all have British accents. It makes Shakespeare so much more “Shakespeare-y.”) 

Today was even more fun! After breakfast, a majority of the NIU group went to the Henley Royal Regatta, the premier rowing competition. It was an absolute blast! The attire is exactly what you would expect from the social event of the season; think Kentucky Derby hats, dresses and flashy suits. We walked down the Thames river and sat with our feet in the water for hours, just enjoying time together. We picnicked on the water and watched the races. Different crews raced every five minutes, and there was quite a variety. There were singles, doubles, teams of four and teams of seven. There were male, female and co-ed competitions. Even though the Regatta is in England, many different countries were represented. We were right on the edge of the Thames for races between English, Canadian, Chinese, German, Argentine and American teams. I have never been to a rowing competition, but it was really neat to see and truly a wonderful way to embrace British culture. 

That’s all for now! Here’s a little teaser for the next blog: Alice in Wonderland. I’m looking forward to sharing my day with you tomorrow!