The Civil 
War Institute

300 North Washington Street
Campus box 435
Gettysburg, PA 17325
P: 717.337.6590
F: 717.337.6596

Part 1: Student Expectations

"I want to embark on a different aspect of American history, a history which had escaped me as I engulfed myself this year in AP European History class. I was looking to understand one of the greatest, most controversial presidents of our time, exploring the Civil War in a detailed light in which I had long forgotten. My goals however were not all education based. I yearned to make friend with my 15 other scholar enthusiast and ultimately make "Civil War friends" for life. I have no doubt that by the end of my week here at Gettysburg college, I will not only have broaden my knowledge on the diversity located in the Civil War era but make friends who also share my love for history, ultimately continuing my search and thirst for history knowledge. This week will hopefully be my first step." - Student from Washington's Crossing, PA

"I expect that the Civil War Institute will be one of the most rewarding experiences of my life in regards to the amount of knowledge I expect to obtain during my time here. I expect to be very busy all day, every day and to be exhausted at night. I think any strain will be well worth the inconvenience as I will be hearing information from some of the best Lincoln experts in the country.  I anticipate that some of what the speakers say may be beyond my abilities of comprehension. Nonetheless, this should be a fun, exciting and enlightening week." - Student from Springfield, OH  

Student Expectations"By learning about Lincoln I would be able to learn how life in politics was during Lincoln's era so I could compare politics in his time to politics today. Coming to Gettysburg I knew I wanted to learn about how one of our presidents lived prior to his presidency. I also wanted to know how he was before he even started in politics, with his family as well as with his friends." - Student from Bergenfield, NJ

"Upon arrival, wasn't quite sure what to expect; of course, I'd received envelope after envelope of logistic-related materials addressing topics ranging from parking to dining before arriving at Gettysburg College, but to be honest, I did not know what to expect regarding my peers, the atmosphere of the entire conference and of the college itself (as I'd never actually been to Gettysburg College), and the format of the lectures. I did know that we would be going on battlefield tours and that the lectures would be highly educational, but other than that, I came to Gettysburg open to whatever sort of experiences the CWI would offer me." - Student from Hong Kong

"After speaking with my uncle, (who has attended the CWI since it opened 26 years ago), I learned that this year's CWI was going to be different.  It was going to be larger in size than ever before.  I was told there would be more lectures and programs than ever before.  I came to expect a lot of note taking, to be tired by the end of each day, exhausted by the end of the week.  After looking at the schedule, I saw over 40 speakers, and I knew there was a lot to learn.  While I knew the schedule looked intimidating, I knew it would be a great adventure into history.  I hope to emerge on the other side of this program a more knowledgeable, well-rounded person.  And while Lincoln is not usually my choice when I study the Civil War, I know that I will see him and the war in a different, brighter light at the end of the week." - Student from Boca Raton, FL

Read about students' experience at the conference:

Part 1: Student Expectations
Part 2: Lincoln, The Man
Part 3: Lincoln, The Commander In Chief
Part 4: Lincoln, The Great Emancipator
Part 5: Experiencing College Life
Part 6: Visiting The Battlefield
Part 7: The CWI

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300 North Washington St.
Gettysburg, PA 17325
P: (717) 337-6300