Beryl Williams
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Beryl Williams

Beryl Williams joined Sussex in 1963 as Lecturer in European History. She retired as Reader in History in 2003.


The school of European studies had a year abroad and which ever foreign language you chose you had a year abroad in theory in that language. Now obviously with Russian that was difficult and what we did was we had an exchange with Progress Publishing House in Moscow, which was set up about 1967/68. And we had two Russians over here who acted as lectors for the year and we had constant worries about defections. It never actually happened but we were very aware, within a week of their arrival which one was keeping the eye on the other. And in exchange for that we sent two students a year who had their own jobs as proof-readers in Moscow and their own flat and this worked wonderfully. And we kept that going until the late Seventies, when the money ran out effectively. Otherwise there was of course the British Council exchange which got students into the Soviet Union. And we normally go one or two a year into that but not more. Above that number (we were getting fifteen students a year in Russian in the Sixties) we had exchanges with Poland, with Czechoslovakia. We started an exchange with Prague in 1968 just as the Russians invaded. We had exchanges with Bulgaria and we also sent students to France, to the Russian Institutes in France.

Beryl Williams download [MP3 1.7MB]