Sherwood Forest is home for English exchange student

When people hear the name Robin Hood, they think of the mighty hero who stole from the rich and gave to the poor. When William Richardson hears the name, he thinks of home.

Sherwood Forest, the setting for the tales of Robin Hood, is just a short drive from Richardson’s home in Mansfield, Nottinghamshire, in central England.

Richardson, 19, is a study abroad student studying media production at MSUM.

At home, Richardson attends college at the University of Lincoln through an exchange program with MSUM mass communications students giving them the opportunity to study abroad.

Along with Richardson, the University of Lincoln sent 11 other students to study abroad during MSUM’s fall semester. One of those 11, Laura Scott said, “I choose to study abroad because I love to travel, and I wanted to experience actually living in a different country rather than just visiting one. You experience so much more that way than you do on any holiday trip.”

Like Scott, Richardson decided to study abroad in America because he thought it would be a good experience, and he wanted to see somewhere new.

Richardson said he found what he was looking for when he took the 3,900-mile journey. He’s noticed quite a few differences between America and England.

First, Richardson said, “The culture is different here. People here seem more driven to do their work than college students back home. Also, being a 19-year-old here, it’s a lot stricter when it comes to drinking and things. In England, it’s not that big of a deal if you’re caught drinking underage.”

Besides the culture, Richardson said the overall school structure in the U.K. is different. Unlike in America where a bachelor’s degree takes four years, in England it takes three. This means that even though it’s only Richardson’s second year of college, he’s the equivalent of an American junior.

So far, Richardson has enjoyed his time studying at MSUM. He’s taking five classes including advertising principles, desktop video, broadcast documentary, history of mass communications and TV and news performance.

“I really like the newsroom,” Richardson said. “We don’t have anything like that at university. The whole campus is generally really nice as well. I’d transfer here and live here if I could.”

Because Richardson has been having such a great experience, he encourages other students to give studying abroad a chance, even if it’s just for a semester. He thinks it’s a really great experience that everyone should get to enjoy.

For people who want to study in England, Richardson believes some places should be on everyone’s list. One of these stops should be a visit to the Alton Towers theme park. “It’s a really fun place to spend time riding rides, both regular and water, and they even have a hotel to stay at to make it a full day,” Richardson said.

Richardson also recommends visitors spend time touring the smaller towns and enjoying life at the bars and pubs.

Along with those places, Richardson said London is a must-see destination. Although he lives 141 miles away, he’s only been to London a couple times. Because of this, he had Betty Sedger, one of the 12 students that are studying abroad at MSUM, explain why it’s a must-see location.

Sedger said, “If you go to England, you have to go to London. It’s by far one of the best places in the world. It has such a great mix of everything that it should be experienced—from walking around Leicester Square, to shopping in Camden Market, finding diamond buys at the Portobello Market—to going to the new cinemas where they serve you a three-course meal. London is a pretty amazing city. Also, attending a show on Broadway should be experienced by everyone.”

For those fans of the Harry Potter series or the show “Doctor Who,” Richardson said their themed attractions are a must see. In both, visitors can see props and costumes from the show and behind-the-scenes attractions that cannot be seen anywhere else.

No matter what types of things a visitor may like, Richardson said there is something for everyone. It’s a great place to visit, even if it’s just for a little while, he said.

BY CHARITY BENGSTON
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