Leaving London is so bitter sweet for me. On one hand I’m devastated to be leaving such a beautiful country, but I’m really excited to go home and see my family and friends! I also have to admit I’m looking forward to getting back to work! I’ve felt like such a lazy bum not working for so long! In a perfect world everyone I loved would just move to England. However, that’s not really reasonable. So it’s cheers to England for now, but i know I’ll be coming back.
I cannot believe that this trip has come to an end! I am really excited to be back at home with my family. I cannot wait to see them. There are many things I will miss about London, but I am so thankful that I had the opportunity to take a course abroad and explore a new culture. This has definitely been an amazing experience! I learned a lot about myself while being in my leadership course, and also during the times I was exploring on my own which I had no idea I would ever be traveling anywhere without someone else. The fact that I felt so comfortable and safe made me be more open to try new things and not rely on someone else to enjoy the time I have free to myself. Especially being able to do that in an unfamiliar place made me feel that I could do that anywhere. There are so many memories that I will never forget and experiences that I will share with other people who decide to study abroad. It was definitely difficult to leave my family behind for a month with minimum communication, but it did not turn out as bad as I had thought. I am so happy to be going home tomorrow, but I will definitely miss riding the bus and tube to the grocery store or downtown.
As for my last weekend here, it was the best time of my life! I went to the beach on Saturday and it was absolutely gorgeous! I had such a blast and did not want to leave. This was by far my favorite thing I had done in London. I went to church at St. Paul’s for the last time, and it was truly amazing being able to attend church while I was abroad. I lit a candle this last time because I had done it the firs time I went to St. Paul’s Cathedral. I will miss that beautiful architecture, artistic building.
Now off to the next adventure, back to Oregon!
Well, it is week 4 and I just finished with my finals for this summer course! It has been such an amazing adventure and really glad that I had the opportunity to be in my Leadership course. I am really sad that we will be leaving in just a few days, but I feel that I had taken advantage of what there was to see so I feel good about leaving soon.
So, for the past week since my last post, I had been going out and exploring on my own! I was always so worried and scared of leaving anywhere on my own, but I am so glad I did, I am starting not to feel like a tourist!
On Friday, me and a couple of friends took the train over to Cardiff, Wales. I absolutely enjoyed being there, the weather was really similar to Newport, OR and there was many restaurants and cafes to hang out at. Where we stopped and hung out at was the bay of Cardiff and it was absolutely beautiful. We tried to go in to a couple museums that were around the area, but everything was closed, and with no map we did not want to stray off too far. It was really cool being able to see the culture of things while being there. Although, I was worried about not being able to communicate with the people that were around that was not a big concern. Later on that day, it was expected to rain and like in Oregon, it rained! It was interesting seeing other people’s response to it and a lot of people were not prepared for the rain so many of us ran under this covered area and waited for the weather to die down.
Saturday, we attempted to go to the changing of the guard, but unfortunately they were not going to do the change since it was a new month, they were only doing the change every other day. But unfortunately with the schedule we have left we will not be able to watch the change. But after that we went to the Millennium Bridge then walked over to a market and had lunch. Then Sunday we went to St. Paul’s church then to the British Museum, and the museum was really interesting. I liked that they had a variety of different cultures, but definitely Greece was a favorite of the museum. We looked at the mummy’s from Egypt and it was interesting learning about the process of washing the body’s and getting it prepared to be wrapped and put in the coffin. After this museum we stopped at a stand which was serving hot dogs and they were delicious! They taste a lot different than the ones we have in the states. Then we walked over to the science museum. I really enjoyed this museum. There were different levels and each level was specific towards a specific time era. When we walked in we saw the first car ever made and the spaceship to the moon and the clothing that they had to wear. My favorite exhibit was the top level which was the future, there were three big tables and about 10 people could stand in front and you had to choose a game from the choices and we all had to different tasks, one of the games that we played was we were all doctors and we had to take urinary samples from each person coming down the screen to see if they had any disease and then told the “patients” what they had to do to treat it. There was also a C02 exhibit and learning about the atmosphere and that was really neat.
One of the things that I have learned to accept while being in London is the fact that when you make plans they can either go really fast or they take a long time to do. I had planned to go to Victoria Gardens, but then I changed my mine while on the tube since I was not sure if my bus pass will take me to that zone. So I ended up going to covent gardens, and I was expecting something completely different. But when I got there, it was a market which sold clothes, jewelry and there was also like a mall so I went in and checked out some of the things they had and it was amazing. I really am glad that I ended up going there. On my way back, the tube stop I had gotten off at was closed and I was so worried I would not be able to make it back for class, so I walked and tried not to worry and I ended up finding another tube station so I was glad about that. After dinner me and some friends went to Abbey road to take pictures where the Beatles had taken their album picture and it was really cool, there were a lot of people trying to take pictures so that was a little difficult.
My last field trip as a class was yesterday, we went to Westminster Abbey and it was really cool being able to walk around and see the graves of people like Queen Elizabeth the first, King Richard the second. I really enjoyed being there. We also had a walking tour about William Wilberforce because he was one of the leaders that we had focused on in class and we learned a little bit more about him. The walking part has definitely gotten more difficult for some reason, but I find that once I rest for a little bit I can keep going. I have loved everything about London!
Just a few more days to go and I will be home! Until next time!
This past week I actually ended up running into Richard Armitage and Martin Freeman from The Hobbit movies. It was really cool; I actually met Richard, and just saw Martin in passing while he was getting into his car. I’ve never met a famous actor before so it was a really cool moment. I also went to the Beatles studio and walked across Abbey Road. I feel like the luckiest girl in the world! I love London and all the opportunities I’ve gotten here!
I took a weekend trip over to Paris this week. It was only a two hour train ride which was a lot shorter that I thought. I was really worried about the language barrier because I don’t know any French. However to my relief the general population of Paris knows at least some English, so I was able to communicate just fine. While in Paris I mostly just stuck to the basic tourist things. I saw the Mona Lisa and Van Gogh’s paintings, I also went to Notre Dame and the top of the Eiffel Tower. Visiting the Catacombs ended up being my favorite part of the trip. The decent down and the trek through the tunnels was a bit scary, but it was also really fascinating. It’s crazy to think under this big city are the bones of so many unfortunate souls! The only down side of the trip was that the city is actually pretty dirty and smelly. There is also tons of sketchy pick-pockets roaming the streets. (My metro card was actually stolen!) It was nice to see Paris but I was so glad to come back to London.
So a lot has happened since my last post. First, I will start with the two field trips I have had with my class. The first one was on the Churchill War rooms and it was really interesting going through the timeline of all the things he accomplished. We got to hear actual conversations he had with other people and got to read letters that he wrote to his wife. Next we went to the National Portrait Gallery, and although it was not my personal interest it was still a cool thing to see. There were many famous portraits and the museum was laid out in different time periods so we got to learn a little about the significance of certain time periods. This weeks field trip was to the Maritime Museum. We took many pictures at the prime meridian and learned a little bit more about Nelson. Now, before the program to study abroad had started we all had to write about a certain British Leader and mine was Nelson, so I was really excited to see what kind of ship he used while he was sailing and learn some more facts about him. Unfortunately, the only thing I got to see was one of the ships. There was a Nelson exhibit, but I had gotten lost so I didn’t get to go in
A little about what I have been doing when I am not in class is went to the supermarket by myself! After three weeks of being here I was finally able to go out without having someone accompany me. Now, to get to the supermarket, you get on a bus and it takes you right there, I know how silly of me to feel scared to go that far. But I am happy to inform you all that I even went on the tube all by myself. The tube is a max/subway and it is really confusing, you have to change to different lines to get to a certain place. I used the tube all alone today, I went to the National History Museum and M & M World. It was a cool place to go and check out. They were both free and the M & M World had a variety of different gifts, so it wasn’t all chocolate, but there was four different levels so that was interesting. I also went to a park called the Heath and saw a small zoo. I went to watch a film while I was here and it was interesting. They have assigned seats here, so if you get there early enough you will get a good one, also there are VIP seats and those are just bigger seats and bigger arm rests and are closer to the front.
I also attended church on Sunday and went to their annual chocolate festival. Basically, they should not call it a chocolate festival. It was literally a stand where they gave free ice cream. You had to stand in line for about half an hour. It was good, but I was expecting a lot of little stands with different types of chocolate to try out. On Saturday, I went to watch Wicked and it was the best play I have ever seen! I was impressed with the actors, and the theater itself. It was such an amazing experience. I also found my favorite place to eat in London and it’s called Frankie and Benny’s, they have amazing pasta. The cafeteria food isn’t all that great, but it is still edible.
Well, that’s all for now! One more week of classes left!
Well week 6 has come and gone and I can safely say that even though I am loving Scotland, I am missing my family. These last couple of weeks have gone by much faster than I thought they would and now I have to start thinking about packing and how I will fit everything into my suitcase.
Since I last wrote, I have done a lot of work at my internship with the School of Sport. I got to assist in two bicycle trials where we measured lactate levels in the blood during different difficulties of cycling and also compared them to the participant’s heart rate and other values we took during the trials. During the first trial, I mostly observed and just handed things to people when they needed them so that I could get the feel for the trial protocol and such. Then during the second trial, they let me take the helm. I got to take the blood samples (which I thought was really cool) to test the lactate levels and also controlled the resistance on the bike. Even though I was really nervous, I feel like I did very well and I learned a lot from it.
Another big part of my internship with the School of Sport is data analysis. I have been taking the data from the trials and putting them into Excel to make spreadsheets and charts. I also have been working on formatting a feedback form for the participants of the studies so that they can see their results as well.
Apart from my internship, I took another trip to London with two of my roommates and it was a wonderful trip. We saw and did so much that I can’t believe we fit it all into only three days. The highlight of my weekend had to be going to the Harry Potter Studio Tour. It was amazing to see where the films were actually shot and walk on the sets. It was surreal to be there, the detail in all of the props and sets was astounding to see. We also got to try butterbeer, which was delicious.
While in London we also saw the Tower of London, the Tower Bridge, Westminster Abbey, Baker Street, Paddington Station, Piccadilly, Kensington Palace, Hyde Park, and even did a night bus tour of the city. The night tour was one of my favorites because it gave us a chance to see the whole city all lit up, it was also a very warm evening so that we didn’t get cold sitting in the open top of the bus.
Another week has passed, which is a happy and sad thing. I can’t wrap my head around the fact that I have spent over six weeks here now. I can’t wait to see what my last two weeks in Scotland will bring!
It’s so hard to find time to post a blog when your so busy enjoying the city!
London is stunning and so far I’m having a great time. The bus and Tube system were easier to navigate than I thought they’d be, so I’ve gotten around to a lot of great places. Buckingham Palace, and the Tower of London were some of my favorites so far. Also all they parks here are fabulous, I could get lost in them for hours and be perfectly happy. With my class I’ve gone to see some shows, which of course were fantastic. This weekend I’m going to see Wicked with some classmates and I am beyond excited. I was worried I over packed, which I definitely did. However, with so many extra clothes I don’t have to fuss about with laundry! Yesterday I found out ranch dressing, or dip, isn’t a thing here. I guess it’s not normally available. Which is so odd to me, and kind of sucks because I put ranch on everything! Also there are no public water fountains anywhere, and that’s lame when you thirsty whilst out and about town.
The weather has been very warm, I’m hoping it will get cooler soon! I cant wait for more adventures to come!
This is my second week being in London! How time has flown by! Classes are going well it seems really relaxed, most of the topics we discuss in class are all based on discussion and personal experience. Since my last blog I had the opportunity to go to platform 9 and 3/4 and to Edinburgh, Scotland. That was quite an adventure, upon arriving we visited the castle, where we saw the crown jewels, prison, and a small church. While we were there it was raining and windy, reminded me of being at the beach. But it was still gorgeous. We went to dinner at a restaurant and had desert. The desert was so delicious! I had blended raspberry with whiskey, and also tried another whiskey that was honey and it was really good. Trying to come back to London was a nightmare, we had missed the last train, which we were not aware of, and had to find a place to stay with some friends, after all that struggle, we finally made it back to London. The train ride back was awful, we were in a cart that had no air conditioning and the train was a lot longer than getting there. We finally made it back to campus and was relieved.
Monday we had classes, went to lunch, then rested, after that went to dinner and went to Kensington Gardens where we saw the statue of Peter Pan and the waterfall memorial for Princess Diana. The park was amazing. Everything was nice. We walked along the path and passed a bridge, got to see the sun set, and then walked into town to finish our night with some ice cream.
Still enjoying my time abroad, but I am starting to miss my family, I don’t want to leave London, but if only my family and friends were down here! Another thing I miss is having access to water fountains! Until next time!
So I have completed my first week of classes in London! Hurray! Classes here are so interesting compared to the states. I am taking a leadership London course and the professor is from Belmont University, there are 10 students in my class, which is really nice when trying to get to know everyone. The structure is different and we sit in class for 3 hours two times a week and have field trips every other Tuesday and Thursday. This weeks field trip was to the Tower of London which was absolutely breathtaking, there was so much history to be told and everyone who still lives in the Tower of London had incredible knowledge of their history. My favorite part was being in the Crown Jewels, where the queens, kings, princes, and princesses had their outfits, crowns, rings, spoons, etc. There was so many crowns to see and see how different all of it was from other people’s. After that we went to the National Portrait Gallery which was not really my scene, but there were some interesting portraits of people that I did recognize such as George Washington and Winston Churchill. This was also a neat place to learn more about the history of some of the great British leaders from the 19th century until now.
I am finally adjusted to the time difference here so it is nice to be able to sleep when I am supposed to and wake up when I am supposed to. There will still be many cool places to see, but today I got to go into the Beatles store, and walk around downtown where we ran into a souvenir shop which was surprisingly cheap and had many gifts in which would be a good representation of London. The person working there was also really friendly and gave an extra postcard for free! I am loving London!! The only thing I am not a big fan of is having to wash my own clothes, the washer and dryer each cost 2 pounds per load!! Washing by hand has been an experience and has made me feel really privileged to be able to not have to pay during my time in WOU. I am enjoying walking around, I took a small walk out near the campus and then I decided to read my book for class outside since the weather was really nice. This has been such an amazing experience and have been learning a lot.
Until next time!