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Looking Back

Pictured is the author of this post, Jay Hearn, in front of the Eiffel Tower wearing a University of Tennessee-Knoxville t-shirt.

Looking back, I can’t help but think that the Normandy Scholars program will be one of the best experiences I have ever had at UT. While I have been to Europe before, this opportunity deepened my knowledge of European history, World War II, the Holocaust, and even the Cold War. Each day of the trip brought memorable new experiences that I’ll never forget along with good times with new friends.

The Imperial War Museum in London, Pointe du Hoc in Normandy, Les Invalides in Paris, and the Haus der Geschichte in Bonn were all absolutely fascinating parts of the itinerary that taught me so much about Europe and post-War memory. Seeing V-2 rockets, Napoleon’s tomb, and the history of post-War Germany cemented my fascination with history and politics. I felt fortunate to be able to see such sights and experience the immense weight of rich, textured history.

During my free time I also experienced several memorable things. Trips to bookstores like Waterstones in London and Shakespeare & Company in Paris were fantastic experiences that left me with much reading material for my summer. Visiting cathedrals and museums with the Architecture students on the trip gave me a new appreciation and insight into the world of architecture that I knew little about before this trip. Not to mention all of the other fun dinners and lunches had with all of the other Normandy Scholars where I learned about their varied and exciting interests and passions.

All in all, the Normandy Scholars Program was one of the most unforgettable experiences of my life.