Home England Richmond in London: Learning Outside the Classroom

Richmond in London: Learning Outside the Classroom

by Sabrina Nunez
university of greenwich england study abroad financial district canary wharf

The University of Greenwich and the financial district at Canary Wharf

university of greenwich isle of dogs london study abroad

The University of Greenwich from the Isle of Dogs

When I was in London for the fall 2013 semester, I took an art and architecture course where we spent a lot of time visiting museums and walking around central London. I also had a field trip to the Harry Potter Warner Brothers Studio Tour for my British Fantasy Writing course. This summer, I’ve had two “field trips” for my European Business Economy class. Last week we went to Greenwich to see the University of Greenwich, the National Maritime Museum and the Prime Meridian Line. We explored the new financial district in London’s Canary Wharf and we were able to see how maritime trading and the River Thames played such a large role in establishing the British Empire.

This week we split up our day and went to the “City” of London, a square mile in the center of London that houses a an incredible amount of the business and financial activity from all over the world. This part of the city is an interesting combination of older and more modern architecture that can be seen from any point in the center. We saw just how international the city is, and the diversity of people and countries who have business and do business in London. Then we stopped by the Museum of London to look at archaeological finds and learn more about the Great Fire of London, which burned down much of central London.

gherkin 30 St. Mary Axe london england architecture study abroad

30 St Mary Axe skyscraper (The Gherkin) demonstrates the modern and historic mix of architecture in London

The second part of our trip this week was the Aldgate East/Brick Lane area of the city where we saw more of the diversity of the city in the form of restaurants. We ended by having a curry dinner at a Punjabi restaurant called Tayyabs. In the States, I’ve never had a professor suggest going out for a meal with our class; it was fun and he was able to tie in the history and culture and success of curry food in England all in one meal. My classes in England have focused more on immersion and understanding the history and people that make up the United Kingdom rather than focusing on facts and figures. This method of teaching and exploration is definitely helping me learn a lot, as well as explore new parts of the city I wouldn’t visit on my own.

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