ERAU Summer Abroad 2016
Interview Techniques and Tactics
Investigative Methodology and Forensic Science
My name is Marquette Davis and I studied abroad in the United Kingdom for one month in the summer of 2016. Although this program is called a study abroad in England, I say the United Kingdom because in the month that we were there, we were not just in England. We had the opportunity to explore the entire United Kingdom. Many of the locals we met told us, upon hearing our travel plans for the month, we would get to see more of England and more of the UK than they had ever seen and they had lived there their entire lives. Traveling to the big city of London and the small seaside towns of Northern England and Scotland and the historic cities Newcastle, Edinburgh, and Bath, and the scenic towns of Wales, we took part in an awesome adventure all over the United Kingdom. And the greatest part about it was that we could personalize it because we were in our own van. And the second greatest part about it was that we probably walked as many miles as we drove, which made for some incredible and unusual sightseeing.
Aside from the wonder of all the travel and the cultural experiences we got to partake in, the different foods we tried and the various people we met, it was an intellectually stimulating experience. Completing seven credit hours in one month, every day was busy with classes and homework. Classroom and lab times were never boring and the small class setting made each penny per credit worthwhile. Be warned, however, that the work load was not for the faint of heart. One of the greatest lessons I learned while in England was how to seize the day and make the most of my experiences, meanwhile completing a semester’s worth of school work in four weeks. Sleep became a secondary need. I made the most of my time there and maintained a pleasing grade and still did not have any regrets about any missed opportunities. Even as we traveled, we lived and breathed what we had learned in our classes, making them all the more worthwhile and exciting.
In addition, we were in the United Kingdom at the time of the mass shooting in Orlando and at the time of the Brexit vote by which the United Kingdom withdrew from the European Union. With these events occurring, we were able to experience how a massive tragedy in the U.S. is globally affective. Walking the streets of London, we even came across a banner that read, “We Stand with Orlando.” And we were able to see firsthand the reaction of the UK people to a major national event. Needless to say, with these events taking place and our presidential election upon us, the English people were eager to know our political stances on several issues, including gun laws, nationalism, and Trump/Bernie/Hilary, and they were eager to share their opinions on their own national issues. I had the pleasure, for example, escaping the rain one evening in Bath, to talk to the manager of a shoe store for a brief time who excitedly conversed with me over British and American politics.
This brings me to my next point. Of all the amazing history and incredible places we saw, it was the people that I will remember most and hold most dear to my heart. Granted I came across more rude people than I had ever encountered, but the good outweighed the bad. I will always remember the three locals we shared jokes with at the smallest pub in the UK; the friendly Chinese couple I listened to one of our students practice her Chinese with during high tea on the Thames River; the kind French girl who led our horseback ride along the beach in Inverary, Scotland; the professors at our host university; all our friendly waiters and waitresses; the pub owner who helped us struggle through the Welsh word “Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch” for extra credit; the employees of Dunollie Castle who allowed us to conduct a crime scene investigation in the middle of their work day and even participated as witnesses and interviewees; and all others who took our pictures, gave us directions, or made friendly conversation with us on the buses, trains, and planes along the way. I am particularly grateful and would like to give a shout out to the employees of United who were so helpful to me in the airport when I had issues with my flights and had to find my way home. And lastly, in the month I was in England, together in good times and in bad, I developed a relationship with my fellow students and with our professor that I will always cherish. Above all the experiences and sights, it is these people that I will hold dear when I remember my study abroad.
From my study abroad experience, I gained seven credits toward my degree, friendships I will always be able to turn to with my fellow students, and a mentor that I truly respect in my professor. In addition, as a GSIS student, I achieved my first international experience that I believe has opened the door to many more international travels and potential career opportunities. I discovered the path I want to take in my degree program by taking Interviewing Techniques and Forensic Science and finding out what I really enjoyed to do. I grew as a person, figuring out my way through a foreign country and culture with a group of people that were mostly strangers to me before the study abroad, and was exposed to the diversity that exists just between two English speaking western cultures, really opening my eyes to the incredible diversity that exists globally.
I am so grateful for the opportunity I had to study in England in the summer of 2016. I will never forget my time there and will eternally appreciate all the incredible experiences.