Each summer a select few Cornerstone students take classes at England’s premier university, Oxford, where they get to visit historical sites other students only read about.
Dr. Michael Pasquale, chair of the humanities division and director of Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages at Cornerstone University, leads the trip and teaches a class with Dr. Michael Van Dyke, professor of English, during the trip.
“This trip immerses students into the Oxford experience,” said Pasquale, who has led the trip for multiple years. “Our students are considered associate students of Oxford and as such have to engage in one-on-one tutorial sessions with Oxford professors, just like regular Oxford students.”
The CU students also have access to the prestigious Bodleian Library and take weekly tours to nearby locations such as London, Stratford (where they saw a Shakespeare play), Windsor Castle and Cambridge.
During the trip Dr. Pasquale and Dr. Van Dyke taught a class on CS Lewis and JRR Tolkien and explored actual locations where events in the authors’ lives took place.
Students heard lectures on Lewis/Tolkien on Addison’s Walk, where Tolkien led Lewis to Christ, and at the Eagle and Child Pub where the Inklings (a literary group led by Lewis and Tolkien) met.
On Sundays the CU family gathered for a traditional “family dinner” together where highlights of the week were shared.
“There is nothing like studying at Oxford and immersing oneself in its history and culture,” said Pasquale. “It is my hope that this experience would be a great academic experience.”
Each student also took an independent study class taught by an Oxford professor.
In addition, the group also worked with a local evangelical church to help with their ESL program.