Citizen Scholar Brooklyn Rue explored more possibilities for post-graduation during the Literature in London study abroad program. This six-week summer program connects students with various writers, poets, and playwrights in London while also visiting cultural sites connected to the courses.
“It was really cool to meet with people whose careers revolved around writing and to be able to see a variety of different ways that writing can manifest in the real-world,” said Rue, who is a junior double major in English and Global Studies in the Arts and Humanities. “Being in a new environment and talking to these people who have done all these amazing things with their careers showed me there is a way to succeed.
“A big thing for me, which I didn’t really consider before, is writing being an actual option for something I want to pursue career-wise.”
A big thing for me, which I didn’t really consider before, is writing being an actual option for something I want to pursue career-wise.
During the program, Rue completed three courses taught by Department of English Assistant Professor Tamar Boyadjian, including a medieval women warriors literature course, an poetry course, and an independent study course to aid in developing her senior thesis.
While abroad, Rue was able to explore poetry on a deeper level, which also gave Rue more clarity for her senior thesis.
“Through the trip, I realized I actually really enjoy reading and writing poetry, and so that inspired my thesis,” Rue said. “Before I would have never considered writing about poetry. Now, I’m thinking my thesis is going to have something to do with poetry and studying poetry written by women about women’s bodies.”
As a connection to the poetry course, students attended an event at The Poetry Café that was centered around Iraqi immigrants and documenting Iraqi experiences in the U.K. through open mic poetry.
Rue partially funded her study abroad trip with her Citizen Scholars scholarship. Students who complete the Citizen Scholars program receive a $5,000 scholarship, which can be used for study abroad, study away, undergraduate research, internships, or other enrichment opportunities.
The access that Citizen Scholars provides through the scholarship gives students the opportunity to be engaged.
“The access that Citizen Scholars provides through the scholarship gives students the opportunity to be engaged,” Rue said. “I feel like within Citizen Scholars we have this shared worldview and idea of how we want to give back to the community. Even just curriculum wise, when you take a Citizens Scholars course, it always involves conversations about community engagement.”
After graduation, Rue is considering pursuing graduate school or nonprofit work. No matter what path she chooses, the Literature in London program has been a force in her recognition of writing as a feasible career path.
Written by Annie Dubois