Dr. Susie Thomas is not only a Resident Director with AHA International in London, United Kingdom, but is also a published literary scholar focusing highly on British authors. As a Resident Director, she oversees academic programs, teaches courses, and ensures that the students are enjoying their stay in her beautiful city. Read on to learn more about all that London has to offer!
What brought you to be a Resident Director?
I have been teaching literature courses on AHA’s London programme for many years, and I enjoy working with American students.
What are some unique aspects of your city and country?
London has a wealth of history and it is also a modern multicultural city with cutting edge theatre, arts and technology industries. Most of the major galleries and museums are free. The AHA centre is located in the heart of Bloomsbury, so the British Museum and the British Library are just a stroll away. All of our programmes offer excursions to other places in the UK, including Wales, Scotland, Bath, Oxford and Brighton. From London, students can also visit other European cities very easily.
What is one thing most of your students may not know about you?
When I was studying for my doctorate at the University of London I used to work on a carnival during the holidays. We went all across the U.S. and once we even went to Costa Rica.
What are some of your favorite aspects of being a Resident Director?
I love opening doors for students and telling them the good places to go; whether that’s a museum, a theatre, or a favourite Indian restaurant. I take the students on lots of walking tours of the city so that they really get to know it.
What are some of the challenges of your job?
As a literary critic, the biggest challenge for me has been mastering budgets! However, getting the best deals means that we can offer the students lots of educational and fun excursions.
What have you seen as the biggest challenge for incoming students?
Since we speak the same language most students do not have much difficulty settling in. Some students find living in a big city a challenge and some miss their family and friends. This usually passes very quickly! The London centre provides a home away from home, and Mary (the Assistant Director) and I are always around if students want to chat.
What is your advice for students planning to attend your program, or to study abroad in your country?
Be willing to try new things and be flexible!
What is one thing you think students shouldn’t forget to pack for life in your country?
Students can find everything they want here but it’s certainly useful to bring a laptop.
If you want to learn more about attending Susie’s program, check out this link!