We departed our journey even before MBA’s class of 2017 graduated. Our eight-hour flight landed into London Heathrow, but we still had another hour journey as Winchester was nearly fifty miles southwest of the city. As the three of us entered the town, we were each placed into separate boarding areas. Fenner stayed at Furley’s, Jackson at the historic college built in the fifteenth century, and Brady with the director of exchanges, Dr.Webster in the town itself. The atmosphere around the school and surrounding countryside was awe inspiring. The beautiful, historic town of Winchester was once the capital of the England in the 9th century, and its incredible high street was full of statues, monuments, and even the old gates of the city.
For exeat, we were fortunate enough to stay with families who lived near London. Brady stayed with the King family who lived right in the middle of London. He traveled to the Royal Observatory in Greenwich, Westminster Abbey, and the Tower of London. The King family was very courteous and definitely improved my stay in London. Jackson and Fenner both stayed with Michael Urashima, a fifth year student who was of Korean and Japanese descent. Staying outside of London in the city of Beaconsfield. On Father’s Day, we accompanied him and his father on a golf outing at Stoke Park, and on Monday, we spent the day in London visiting the home of Chelsea, Stamford Bridge, and other areas of Kensington. Other parts of England that were a short train ride away included the towns of Bournemouth and Southampton.
Daily life consisted of a rather late start compared to MBA. Starting 8:45AM, Winchester gave us the opportunity to sleep in or attend breakfast by 8:40. Their schedules offered a rotating, block system with thirty-five minute classes. As well, the week was six days long, featuring an extra day of class on Saturday. Monday, Wednesday, and Friday were all full length days with nine periods, while Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday were half days with only six periods. We chose classes, three each, which included Classics, Biology, Chemistry, Economics, History, English, Theology & Philosophy, and Division, which was their version of a seminar class. Every day also featured a very formal lunch served promptly at 1:00PM while “Tea Time” was their version of dinner. When it came to the final day of the week, Sunday was reserved for church service and relaxation.
In regards to extracurricular activities, there were many similarities between MBA and Winchester. Every Wednesday evening each wykehamist (student) participated in a “Community Service” of either their choosing or what they were assigned at the beginning of the year. Two of us visited an elderly home that was near a beautiful old 14th century church. Another service activity that we did was cleaning a local creek. The main sport during the summer season when we were there was cricket. Some of us even got to compete in a house (dorm) match. Other sports there included water polo, tennis, rackets, squash, judo, and out of season sports that included soccer (“football”), running, and basketball. They also had an small but productive weight room. Some other events around campus included the house tug-of-war events, house concerts, and many more.
One of the major events that occurred while we were attending school was the Winchester Match. It was a huge gathering of people with alumni, music, sports, and food. To put it in perspective it was like a combination of Endada and field day. There were student bands that performed all day and numerous charities which set up stands to raise money. There was also a cricket match which lasted almost 7 hours! At the end of the day, exeat began which was a three day weekend in which we were able to explore the rest of England.
Thank you to the Warner family, MBA, Mr. Gioia and Mrs. Scholer for everything. Overall, the experience was unforgettable, and we learned how to be a Brit for a month while still maintaining our Southern roots.