Dr. Neil Graves Hosts Oxford and London Summer Trip

This summer, students are welcome to join Dr. Neil Graves abroad to England for ten days while taking a three-credit course called EN398/HS398, Literature of the English Civil War.

The summer trip has been around for the last two years and is based out of London and Oxford. Students will be staying at Oxford University College, according to Graves. The course offered for this trip can be used to fulfill a LIT General Education requirement, an English elective, a history elective, or a free elective, according to Graves.

“This is an unique opportunity as people cannot normally stay within Oxford University College,” Graves said. “This is possible because I am an alumnus of Oxford University College, having studies for my Ph.D. there, as well as having been a professor there.”

The students who spend a semester abroad in London stay at Regent’s College, Graves said. “Being at Oxford University College is a privilege and it is a wonderful part of this study trip that students get to experience this in person by staying there.”

Students do not have to only stay in London and Oxford. “This trip is designed so that the whole group [participates in] activities together in the mornings,” Graves said. “These include some of the wonderfully entertaining places and cultural events of the UK.” Graves added that in the afternoon students were able to organize their own plans, with help if they needed or wanted. During the weekend, he assisted students in traveling to other places.

Elizabeth Uva, a senior English major, explained that there was not enough time to travel anywhere else besides within England, but she still enjoyed traveling around the country. “One thing I did see that I wanted to was Abbey Road. We were able to see places we wanted to see while also sticking to the schedule of sites and monuments,” said Uva.

Graves stated that students have traveled to destinations such as Stonehenge, a medieval castle at Warwick, watched a Shakespeare play in Stratford or bathed in the Roman hot springs in the town of Bath. Graves said, “Further possibilities include Scotland or Wales, the Lake District of the Romantic Poets, a football (soccer) match at Manchester United or another city or a myriad of other possibilities. It depends on your interests, but the UK has something for everyone.”

The study abroad trip starts on August 25 and ends on September 3. Graves organizes the trip and explained that he picked the 10 days for several reasons. “The first reason is that I wanted students to be able to work during the summer if they want to or take other courses at MU,” Graves said. “By placing this trip after the end of MU summer courses and at the end of the summer, students can take this course and do all their normal summer activities.”

The second reason was that because the students will be taking the course at the end of august, Oxford University College would not be filled with other students. Graves explained that students will have the school all to themselves and will be able to take full control of it.

Even though the Oxford and London trip is not sponsored by the study abroad office, Robyn Asaro, assistant director of study abroad, helps students know about the ten-day summer trip. “We get involved by helping Dr. Graves promote his program on our website and with a few other administrative details,” said Asaro.

Nick Daddario, junior and health studies major, went on the summer trip and highly recommends it. “Once you graduate college it’s time for work and the real world,” Daddario said. What better time than now to go? It will only make your college experience that much more memorable.”

If students are interested or have any questions about the summer program to Oxford and London, they can contact Graves at or go to his office located in the Wilson Annex room 410.

PHOTO COURTESY of Dr. Neil Graves