Before Leaving: My 1st trip to Europe!!!!

My name is Tamala Malerk and I just finished my first year as a PhD student of history at the University of South Florida. I am very graciously a recipient of an education abroad scholarship. My major is Modern Europe with a minor in Public History and my research and writing tends to reflect overall women and gender throughout history. This will be my first time ever going to Europe and I have been waiting for this since I first started studying Western Europe in my AP European History my senior year of high school (10 years AGO)! My study abroad trip is a 10-day trip throughout London and Paris where we focus on culture and politics of those cities.

I had a few reasons for choosing this trip. I know at one point I will have to go to London on my own to do research for my dissertation and by going on this trip, I can gain geographical knowledge of the area so that I can return confident that I can navigate from my hotel to the British library. My dissertation focuses on Madeleine Slade and her involvement with the Indian independence movement from Britain. Another reason I chose this trip is because of my minor: Public History. We will be touring various museums and historic sites: Versailles, the British Museum, the Louvre, the Tower of London, and Windsor Castle to just name a few. I am minoring in Public History so that I can one day work in a museum, archive, or historic site, and it will be interesting to see how some of these sites are set up compared to the American places I have visited and worked in.

I am nervous because I am the only graduate student and probably the oldest person on this trip outside of the advisors. I am closer to the thirty than twenty and am nervous that others may see as a weird older lady. I hope that some of the juniors and seniors can relate a little to me at least.

I cannot wait to go on this journey and share my experiences with you all.

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