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London Tourist: Exploring British History

by AIFS Study Abroad
London Tourist 101 I AIFS Study Abroad, Customized, Faculty Led Programs

London is the tourist capital of Great Britain and one of the most famous cities in the world. This Fall, Alexia Costa, Student Ambassador and Student Blogger, is studying abroad with the Southern California Foothills Consortium in London. Over the course of her time here, Alexia is working on an Attractions project and will be documenting her experiences over her semester. Read on to hear what she got up to in her first week:

London Tourist 101 I AIFS Study Abroad, Customized, Faculty Led Programs

It’s been 2 weeks since I moved to London, England. I moved from Southern California all away across the Atlantic Ocean; how crazy is that? So far, it has been an amazing trip. I’m really excited to try new things and learn about British culture. I’d love to encourage and inspire others by sharing what I’ve got up to in London and have lots of fun during the process!

The British Library

First stop, the British Library. The British Library is obviously a library full of books. However, not only does it have every book you can think of, they also have a special exhibits. These exhibits house rare collections of texts and paintings from notable people like William Shakespeare to Mozart. It was quite incredible to see one of kind texts and paintings that influenced so many people and the structure of the building kind of looks like a ship, it reminds me of the Titanic; the man who actually designed the building loved the structure of ships so he incorporated into his designs for the museum. So I would definitely recommend going to the British Library if you are really into reading and learning about different cultures and England’s history.

The Freemason’s Hall

The Freemason’s Hall isn’t a typical place that tourist’s may go but I was able to visit because it was part of London’s Open House Weekend. The Freemason’s Hall is actually related to our USA history. Let me explain. The Freemason is one of the oldest fraternal non political or religious charitable organization and is very much like a secret society. Freemasons dedicate to teach self knowledge, morality and spiritual values through participation of their ceremonies. They believe in the existence of a “Supreme Being”. A lot of important people have joined this organization throughout the years. For example, Winston Churchill, Kings like Edward VII, George VI and believe it or not, former president of the United States George Washington, were all members!

The building was amazing; the materials they used were just superb. The windows had beautiful designs full of colors. It was pretty amazing to be stood where they hold their meetings. This is definitely something you want to check it out if you are really into the Freemason’s history.

The British Museum

The British Museum is on the same street as the AIFS London office so very convenient. It contains a large collection of historic pieces; 2 million years of human history lies inside it’s walls. A great deal of cultural diversity can be found at the British Museum. There are pieces from Ancient Greece and Rome to Africa and so much more. I loved the Egyptian section! It was fantastic to be able to see all the coffins and mummy’s – I had never seen anything like it before! The details and the materials that they used were quite interesting.

The British Museum not only houses fascinating artefacts. You can also go for afternoon tea at The Great Court. AIFS organised this cultural event as part of our cultural package.  You get a nice cup of tea, finger sandwiches and a lot of delicious cakes! I really enjoyed the afternoon tea and it was great to be able to enjoy this experience with my friends from the program. We shared a lot of laughs and a lot of eating.

A Postcard from London I AIFS Study Abroad, Customized, Faculty Led Programs

Overall, the British Museum is definitely a place to go if you find yourself in London – admission is free!

Well that is all for this week I have much more lined up for this coming weeks so be excited, I know I am, until next time.

 

 

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