Hello from London!
With classes well in full swing, let’s see what they’ve got up too!
London Skyline By Boat
What better way to get acquainted with the city, than to cruise down the Thames gazing towards some of London’s most famous monuments. Big Ben, The London Eye, The Shard, Tower Bridge just to name a few! The cruise was an excellent way for students to get to know each other both from their home institutions and with fellow AIFS Fall Semester students from other groups.
London Through The Ages
This year Tommies got to kick their second week in London off with a London Through The Ages weekend. They started with a guided visit to the Museum of London. Later that evening, they dined at the Medieval Banquet at St Katherine’s Docks.
The following day, they moved away from the medieval period toward the reigns of Henry VIII and Queen Elizabeth I. First stop, the magnificent Hampton Court Palace. After taking in the incredible sights, learning some of the history surrounding the palace and taking lots of photos, students headed back to the city centre ready for the evening performance of Much Ado About Nothing at The Globe Theatre.
After a day exploring Shakespearean and Elizabethan London, their focus moved to the turn of the century with a visit to the Imperial War Museum. World War One and Two were brought to life in this fascinating and eye opening visit. Before their weekend drew to a close, students headed over to the Olympic Park in Stratford where the 2012 London Olympics were held.
British Life and Culture
Our Southern California Foothills Consortium have a weekly class called British Life and Culture. All lectures take place on the University of London campus and the classes seek to develop student’s understanding and appreciation of key aspects of contemporary British cultures and society within a historical context. This week, students had a field trip to the British Library which is one of the largest libraries in the world! It’s collections include more than 150 million manuscripts, maps, music scores, newspapers, patents, databases, drawings and sound recordings and is a British icon.
Weekend Student Adventures
Undoubtedly, studying and living in London can come with culture shock. We may share the same language, but that doesn’t mean everything is the same. To adjust to living in London, our AIFS Student Services staff ran a cultural workshop. First off, guest speaker Julian from Weekend Student Adventures came by to talk cultural exchange, travel advice and top destinations in Europe. Weekend Student Adventures offers award winning weekend trips and an expert travel team for students to help maximise your time abroad and cultural experiences across Europe. Run by Andy Steve’s’, Rick Steve’s son, Julian’s talk was an excellent and inspiring introduction into travel in Europe!
After a quick break it was time for round two of our cultural workshop – the Smarties Game.
Students take a seat across from someone else in the program. They start by introducing themselves to each other. They then open the tube of smarties and pick a colour without looking. Each coloured smartie links to a question projected on the board. When the timer starts they have 2 minutes to talk about the topic or answer the question before the bell rings. Then, its time to move on to the next person. And of course, they get to eat the smartie too!
Red – What have you noticed is different to the way things are done in the US?
Orange – Why did you want to study abroad in London this Fall?
Yellow – What stereotypes come to mind when you think of London? Has this changed since you’ve been here?
Blue – In what ways is food similar and/or different than back home?
Green – Name as many tube stations as you can!
The Smarties Game is a great way to get students talking, interacting and sharing their cultural experiences on coming to London.
Afternoon Tea at The British Museum
What is more quintessentially British than a spot of Afternoon Tea at the British Museum. We are fortunate enough to be just down the road from one of London’s more iconic sites. After what seems like hundreds and hundreds of stairs winding through the British Museum, we made it to the Great Court. Quickly, students began to understand how delicious and fun Afternoon Tea is. Wide eyed they asked ‘is this all for us’ as the trays of gorgeous scones, cakes, finger sandwiches and tea arrived at their tables. It was a perfect end to another great week here in London.
Day trips outside of London
Looking ahead to next week, students will be busy with classes. We also have a couple of day trips planned outside of the city. Cambridge and Brighton will give students a greater understanding for life outside of the city. Check in with us in a few weeks time to hear how the students got on!