Clements Center
Clements Center

Maymester 2018 Highlights

Sep 10, 2018

Every year, the Clements Center takes 20 UT undergraduate students to London for a unique four-week Maymester study abroad program to study the US-UK special relationship at King's College London. The program includes visits to important landmarks in British cultural heritage and Anglo-American strategic history, as well as private events with senior policymakers and historians.  

Our students hit the London Underground running with a tour of the city that included visits to Buckingham Palace and Westminster Abbey.



Their first week in London included lectures from esteemed King's College London professors and trips to St. Paul’s Cathedral and the Imperial War Museum. 

Students kicked off the weekend with a day trip to Oxford University, where they attended a lecture on U.S.-E.U. counterterrorism cooperation and visited the Oxford University Strategic Studies Group. The day concluded with a tour of Blenheim Palace, the childhood home of Winston Churchill.


Week 2 in London featured lectures from UT Professor and Clements Center Director of Graduate Studies Mark Lawrence, British expert on the Middle East Emma Sky, and former UT Harrington Fellow Dr. Charlie Laderman. 


Our outgoing Associate Director Dr. Paul Miller led the next leg of the trip, which included a tour of the National Archives and a four-day excursion to Normandy, France.


Students visited the D-Day beaches stormed by Allied forces in 1944, as well as the Coleville Sur Mer American Cemetery and Pointe du Hoc.



 “ This Maymester was truly an opportunity of a lifetime and I learned a deep appreciation for our ‘special relationship’ with the UK and for the sacrifices made during WWII.”  - 2018 Maymester participant



Upon their return from France, students returned to King's College London for a lecture on the U.S. & U.K. in the Middle East since the Second World War. They also shared a dinner discussion with Kwasi Kwarteng, Member of Parliament.


Intelligence Studies Project Director Steve Slick joined mid-week and led the group on an outing to Cambridge University. Students participated in a flag ceremony at the Cambridge American Cemetery and attended a lecture on the Invention of American ‘National Security’.


The last excursion of the Maymester was a day trip to Dover. Students visited the war tunnels of Dover Castle and spent time at the memorial site of the 1940 Battle of Britain.



In the final days of the program, Professor Slick took the students to Bletchley Park, a cryptanalysis center where British intelligence officers decoded Nazi ciphers during WWII. 


The last week in London featured KCL lectures on Terrorism and the Liberal State as well as Grand Strategy and the War on Terror. After 4 packed weeks in London, our Maymester students returned home full of knowledge and appreciation for the U.S.-U.K. special relationship, the liberal international order, and the practice of grand strategy.


If you're interested in learning more about how to apply to the 2019 Maymester, click here.