Jon Goetz is a student at Harvard University and attended the Pembroke-King’s Programme 2015.
What made you apply to Pembroke-King’s Programme?
My eldest sister Anne did PKP about five years ago and absolutely loved it. Like me she was studying at Harvard, and came to PKP to do thesis research and get a taste of ‘the other Cambridge’. She really recommended the programme and then my other sister Berit did the Spring Semester Programme at Pembroke and she loved it too, so I wanted to make it out here somehow. We also have a younger sister and I wouldn’t be surprised if she ended up coming in the future.
Has the programme lived up to your expectation?
I have really enjoyed it. Pembroke was founded in the mid-fourteenth century, which is just amazing. Harvard is the oldest school in the US but it just pales in comparison. It’s been really nice to be surrounded by the beautiful architecture and I think the sense of history is very palpable here.
Which classes are you taking?
At home I study European History and English Literature, so it was very appealing to come to England. Here, I’m taking a twentieth century European history class with the very venerable Professor Jonathan Steinberg. We worked out that he actually lived in the same house in Harvard that I’m now living in! I will also be taking a Shakespeare class, which should be fun.
For my third option I’m taking a supervision to allow me to do some research and preparation for my dissertation back at Harvard, which is on English nationalism and the way in which it is manifested in sport. The freedom to research without strict guidelines has been a learning curve that I’ve found very valuable.
What has been the most important thing about the PKP experience?
I’ve always wanted to explore in the intellectual sense and this has been an experience where I can definitely say that I’ve learnt more about myself. I’ve met people from all over the world. I’ve been down to London and am planning trips to Prague and Vienna. Most of all, being able to devote some time to reading, reflecting and writing has been amazing.