by Emily Vandenbosch ’19
When I accepted the invitation to Houghton’s London Honors Program, I was a starry-eyed girl with dreams of seeing the world and having the bragging rights on really interesting stories. I had no idea that the experience would turn my life upside down.
I cannot talk honestly about the program without saying that it was the most challenging three months of my life. My first international flight was exhausting, and the last thing I wanted to do once I arrived was begin a grueling three months of essays and reading. However, somewhere between the weekly lectures, long nights of reading, sleepless weekends writing papers and stress of being an honors student, God began a miraculous change in my life. As we traced the history of Western Culture, I developed a new appreciation for humanity—learning about humanity’s flaws, patterns, and incredible ability to create taught me that we are not perfect, but there is something inside of us that produces masterpieces when we allow God to work in our lives.
Each week, the cohort would attend a lecture preparing us for the following days, when we would receive our Museum, Gallery and Architecture and Music Listening Guides. We would set out to accomplish weekly readings, which we discussed each morning as we prepared for the week’s prompt. On Thursday, we would begin writing the five-page paper due Saturday night.
Our group became like a family—professors included—and together, we tackled the world and encouraged each other as we matured as individuals. We had tea together, laughed together, cried together and became new together. I will forever be blessed by this program; even now, three months back in America, the impact is still unfolding in my life as I continue to love God and His world.