History and Medieval Studies – Desirée Sharland, Honors History and Spanish Major, Great Britain

Desiree Sharland, StonehengeI was thrilled when I received my acceptance letter for the International Summer Schools Programme at Cambridge University. I could not have been more excited when I decided to research an aspect of the King Arthur legacy as I have always loved reading about him. One of the classes in the Medieval Studies Programme was on King Arthur and I was extremely interested in finding out what the British thought about him.

While studying at Cambridge University, I spent much of my free time collecting material that I could use for my research, either from books I found in the Summer School’s library, or directly from the professors of my classes. In addition to the information I learned in my King Arthur class, I also learned interesting facts that I did not know, such as the presence of a round table at Windsor Castle at one time. I learned this in a plenary lecture titled “Searching for King Arthur from Windsor to Tintagel” by Julian Munby.Desiree Sharland, Norwich England Cathedral

Studying in and traveling around the British Isles for two months was a fantastic experience for me. I not only learned a great deal from the classes I took, but I was also able to gather a lot of necessary information for my thesis. I discovered that King Arthur is an integral part of British culture. His legacy would have crossed my path many times, even if I had not been searching for it. This opportunity has without a doubt changed my life. While traveling around and in Cambridge, I met many people from all over the world. I learned a great deal about other cultures, and in the process I made some very close friends. This experience also gave me the ability to learn more about myself; I became more independent and extroverted, and I discovered a couple of careers that I am highly interested in. I also experienced the British school system and now I would love to pursue graduate school in the UK. I hope that I will someday be able to return to Britain.