2019 Travel Grant Winner Rachel Singer on Her Studies in England
Rachel traveled to Wells, England to attend the JACT Latin Summer School, an intensive, two-week Latin course.
Latin is an invaluable tool for a medievalist. It was the lingua franca of elite Europe for a thousand years, virtually the only European literary language before the thirteenth century, and the parent of many of the vernacular languages that eventually replaced it. It was therefore crippling that I had no knowledge of Latin. But, thanks to the Global Medieval Studies Program’s generous grant, I spent two weeks in August 2019 learning Latin grammar at an accelerated pace.
We studied Latin for around fifteen hours a day and covered the major grammatical structures at a breakneck speed. But there was still time to explore Wells Cathedral, which features some gorgeous Gothic architecture and a functioning clock from the fourteenth century! It was wonderful to take a short break from the classical subjects in my Latin course to experience a beautiful medieval cathedral.
By the end of the course, I knew enough of the language to pass a Latin GCSE (which is a British test reminiscent of an AP exam) and to start reading simple, original texts. It was incredibly rewarding to see my work pay off so quickly and I am looking forward to continuing to use my Latin here at Georgetown and beyond.
The Global Medieval Studies Program awards a travel fellowship to 2-3 students each year. Learn more about the grant.