Meet students from St Cloud State University who, this year, joined in the Shrovetide.
Each fall, spring and summer semester, a new group of excited American students lands in Alnwick to experience the UK at its best.
There is no doubt that living and studying at Alnwick Castle is something that most people do not get to experience and it’s not one that those who do come will forget anytime soon.
This semester, there are 35 talented and energized students ready to immerse themselves in the community and learn about its culture and traditions, as well as meeting some of the people.
All of the students are from Minnesota and most are studying mass communications at St Cloud State University.
The program encourages the students to meet as many of the people in the community as possible to gain the full experience of living in Alnwick.
On Shrove Tuesday, University students were able to take part in their first Shrovetide football game as they showed off their athletic skills. The no-rules game proved to be a tough and challenging game as some came back with black eyes and a few bruises. When asked about his experience, Jonah Meyer said: “I’m not very athletic, but the experience was still fun for me and definitely reminded me I need to get in shape.”
Michael Swanson said: “Definitely a cultural experience. I did not know what to expect, but I found it exhilarating and hectic. All in all, this will be an unforgettable memory of Alnwick.”
As a spectator to this time-tested tradition, this writer found it to be a thrilling and exciting event to be a part of. The students got a chance to truly be a part of the community and witness an amazing spectacle. It’s definitely not something that the students get to experience in the United States.
“Although a muddy, tough, and gruelling game, it was the most fun I’ve had playing football. Hands down, my favorite holiday,” said Alex Byrne, who is studying biomedical science.
I’m not very athletic, but the experience was still fun for me and definitely reminded me I need to get in shape.Jonah Meyer
Wes Wyberg said: “It was a great experience and I am honored to have been able to participate in such a long-lasting English tradition.”
Along with experiencing the best of community traditions, the students take a full class load of 15 to 17 credits, including two British courses and an elective British course that will earn some a minor in British studies. They are given the chance to go on field trips on Fridays to places such as York and Newcastle upon Tyne to see some of the UK’s most historic locations.
The students also contribute to the community by volunteering at places like Lionheart Radio and Alnwick Playhouse. When asked how they will feel when they have to return home, most students said they will be sad to leave, as they feel right at home in Alnwick.