I think everyone at some point in their lives wants to travel. Whether it be a cross-country trip through the great mid-west of the United States or an 8-hour plane ride to see the Mona Lisa.
I had the opportunity when I was an undergrad at Hartwick College studying art history to spend nearly a month traveling through Italy. The world I saw was familiar. I had studied the art works and statues in classes. My thesis is on an amazing Annunciation fresco by Fra Angelico and experienced its grandeur first-hand. I felt like nothing could beat this. I was on top of the world.
And then I left.
When I got back home the first thing I ate was a PopTart and then I cried. I wanted to go back, I wanted to be back in that culture. I wanted that feeling again. So, I searched for it through traveling in my home state of New York. Upstate New York is a beautiful place, full of green and rolling mountain views. Still, it wasn’t what I wanted.
Finding the Library Science Program
I came to Syracuse University as an Art History graduate student. I had applied for the Florence Program with the hopes that I could go back, but then I didn’t get in. Instead, I was admitted into the on-campus program.
I stayed in that program for a semester and then transferred into the iSchool to study Library and Information Science. That’s where I learned a lot about myself and what I wanted out of life. I knew I wanted to be an archivist just this year after interning in the Special Collection Research Center at Bird Library as the Metadata Assistant. It was the first time I felt certain about.
Open Palace Programme
As this is my last year of my master’s program I have searching job searching and then let me to searching for opportunities to go abroad. Then I found it, the Open Palace Programme. It was sitting there on the Society of American Archivist job list page. I was skeptical at first, but I followed the link and read what was available on the website.
The program is a seventeen-day long trip to either England or Scotland, depending on which program you applied for. During the trip you get to experience the time in when the regency ruled England. The program will visit castles, the Tower of London, and famous archives from Bath to London. Housing is included in the program as well as a few meals. Students who are seniors in undergrad, final year graduate students, and professionals can apply to the program, but like any study abroad program, you must pay for it. I hadn’t even been accepted into the program yet, but I was already trying to figure out ways to pay for it.
How to Apply
Applying for the program was easy. It consisted of a 500-word essay on cultural heritage and what it means to you, the application itself, and one letter of reference. That’s it! I was stunned. Surely it couldn’t be that easy! And yet, two weeks letter I got an email telling me I was accepted into the program. My searching was over, I was going to England in June to do what I love. If you’d like to apply, get started here!