August 7, 2019

All the World’s a Classroom

Summer Shakespeare intensive at Oxford University prepares Centenary student from West Orange, N.J., for a Future U career in education.

Hackettstown, N.J., Aug. 7, 2019—Centenary University senior Sachel Bise traded sunning for Shakespeare this summer, studying the Bard’s works at Oxford University. The West Orange, N.J., resident was accepted earlier this year into a six-week summer intensive offered through the Oxford Study Abroad Program.

The opportunity allowed her to delve into Shakespearean plays in depth, guided by experts on the world-famous playwright and poet. In addition to attending classes, Bise traveled to cultural sites throughout England, including Stratford-upon-Avon, where she visited Shakespeare’s boyhood home and school, King Edward VI School, as well as Bath, Windsor, the Isle of Wight, and Stonehenge.

“The trip as a whole was so transformative and interesting,” said Bise, a double major in English and education. “I learned so much about Shakespeare and discovered a perspective I never knew I had. My tutor, Dr. Ben Morgan, was absolutely amazing and insightful. He helped me become a stronger writer and pushed me to analyze and critique the text even more. I absolutely loved every second of my time in Oxford.”

Bise is already well on her way to achieving her Future U career goal to be a teacher. While attending Centenary, she spent a semester in England at the University of Roehampton in London through the University’s Study Abroad Program. She enjoyed the experience so much that Patricia Mahaffey, the University’s study abroad coordinator, suggested that she apply to the Oxford summer program.

Since returning from Oxford in July, Bise has taken and passed her English Praxis, which is required for teacher certification. After graduating from Centenary, she also plans to earn master’s and doctoral degrees.

As she looks back on her first three years of college, Bise values the opportunities provided to her at Centenary and Oxford. “I got to experience so much, including visiting the home of my favorite writer and paying homage to him,” she said. To college students considering studying abroad, Bise advises remaining open to challenges: “This was my second time studying in England and it was amazing. Make sure you feel comfortable and ready to be challenged. Welcome it with open arms and allow it to stir you a bit, then use the frustration as fuel for a stronger piece. Have fun and allow yourself to be transformed by the atmosphere around you.”


Sachel Bise sits in the headmaster’s chair at the Shakespeare school room at King Edward VI School in Stratford-upon-Avon, Shakespeare’s boyhood school. She calls the photo “the ultimate English teacher’s photo.”


Founded in 1867 by the Newark Conference of the United Methodist Church, Centenary University’s academic program integrates a solid liberal arts foundation with a strong career orientation. This mix provides an educational experience that prepares students to succeed in the increasingly global and interdependent world. The University’s main campus is located in Hackettstown, N.J., with its equestrian facility in Washington Township. The Centenary University School of Professional Studies offers degree programs at two locations, Parsippany and Edison, as well as online and at corporate sites throughout New Jersey.

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