Hi I'm Madison Lichtmann, I am a junior marketing major from New Hampshire. I am currently studying abroad in London, England. Some of my involvements on campus include, Resident Assistant, Staff Coordinator for Orientation, Information Center Employee, Secretary & Fundraiser for Bryant Cheer, and of course student blogger!
December 2nd, 2013
As my time in London comes to a fast approaching end I couldn't help but think to myself how can I possibly explain my experience or everything I have gained in knowledge, experience or life while being here. At first I thought about doing a said attempt to remake the 12 Days of Christmas to the 12 Days of London, but how could I possibly fit everything I have done in only 12 days! So I did what everyone in my situation would do, and counted on the calendar the exact number of days I've been here. From September 6th, to December 14th, marks exactly 100 days in London. So what better way to be all nostalgic and capture my experience than writing my 100 favorite memories, experiences, challenges, and ways of life I've learned since being here! Oh yeah and it's completely biased, enjoy!
- When using the escalator the left is for walking, the right is used for standing (it's basically the law)
- Never take your two minute walk to class for granted! 30 minute commute, by tube.
- With that being said the tube is the fasted means of transportation within London.
- The tube stops at 12:30, if you like going out you must learn how to use the bus system as well…
- Piccadilly Circus has some of the best night life and is very similar to Times Square
- There is a difference between being British and being English
- Dogs aren't required to wear a leash!
- Everyone bikes EVERYWHERE (they use the same road as the cars…)
- You must wait for the green man to tell you it's okay to walk, cars don't stop for pedestrians
- The food here is not processed like it is in America, it's actually healthier, which is why it tastes funny
- With that being said don't ever get a hamburger from McDonalds while in London
- Tea is the equivalent to coffee in America
- They have flavored CIDER
- Students only go to University for 3 years here
- Freshmen year is pass/fail, second year is only worth 30% and their final year is 70%
- People will ask you where you are from, half the time they want to hear what state half the time they want to hear America. YOU CAN'T WIN!
- Don't call pants - pants, it means underwear
- Stonehenge importance and use is unknown
- It does not in fact rain that much here, unless your friends ask you on certain days because then it's always raining when they ask
- Prices are the same as America, but the dollar is weaker = BROKE
- Traveling is so easy, and fairly cheap especially when there are 4 airports just outside of London
- Since they don't celebrate Thanksgiving they make up for it by going all out for Christmas
- You must go see the changing of the guards, it's really cool
- Kate and William don't live in Buckingham, they live in Kensington Palace
- You can get anything and everything you may need (except food) at Primark
- There are Starbucks on every corner, don't go looking for a Dunkin Donuts, unfortunately you won't find one
- But you will find Chipotle!
- You can get your hair cut and colored for under 20 pounds during model nights, or at training academies
- There is in fact peanut butter, but Nutella is 10 times better
- Fun fact: There are dragons on the outside of London, if they are facing you; you are entering the city of London vice versa.
- London is only 1 square mile and only apprx. 5 people live in it. The rest is considered the city of Westminster
- Tower Bridge NEVER GETS OLD
- You will wear out your shoes from walking so much, don't worry you get used to it
- Oxford Circus is where are the high end clothing stores are located $$$
- It is possible to see all the touristy things in a weekend, I've had to do it!
- Markets like Borough, Camden and Portabella are really cool; antiques, clothing and FOOD!
- Never take a taxi it's like getting into a strangers car, unless pre-booked, as told by tube advertisements
- Parks here are massive, you will most likely get lost, but no worries there are tube stops at each corner (Hyde Park and Regent Park are my favorites)
- Covent Garden always has street performers and awesome no name singers
- Leicester Square is the best place to find half price theater tickets
- Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is AMAZING.
- Platform 9 ¾ always has a cue (that's a line) but it's totally worth the wait
- The platform is actually located inside King's Cross St. Pancras Train Station
- The locals are really bad at giving directions, they usually don't know what you are talking about
- Finding someone you don't know but trust to take a group picture is a struggle!
- They take futbol very seriously (that's what we call soccer)
- On the same note RUGBY is huge here
- J.K. Rowling has a flat in London, her license plate has her name on it
- Famous people always come here, you just have to know where to go see them
- You can literally get away with wearing ANYTHING here
- Londoner's always look photo ready
- Heels are the norm here
- No one talks to each other on the tube…
- Which means singing in public is frowned upon =(
- All the museums here are free, so go get cultured
- You really come to appreciate the little things you took for granted back home
- You and your family become a lot closer and you realize how much they support you and help you in any way possible
- You meet some of your best friends abroad
- There's always something new to see, do and explore
- You become super independent
- You may even learn to cook, I know I had too
- You learn how to really budget your money
- You get to travel and see the most amazing places, with the most amazing people
- You learn to live without TV, which isn't as bad as it sounds
- You become the ultimate packer
- You learn to live only with the necessities
- You learn how to open up and communicate all over again
- Face to face communication is sometimes your only means of communication
- You love when you see the sign FREE WIFI
- Whatever you do, DON'T turn your data on!
- If you're lucky, like I was, you only have class three days a week
- You have to pay for public bathrooms! WHAT!
- People know you're American when you have to swipe your credit card, they use cards with chips in them
- No matter how hard you try you are almost always spotted as an American
- Even though after 3 months you feel like a true Londoner!
- The experience is really life changing, you may not realize it now, but just wait
- The possibilities and opportunities are endless
- British people laugh at your attempt to do a British accent
- They don't use the doctor like we do, if you need a prescription you go to a drug store and tell them your symptoms
- If your program offers any trips or activities DO THEM (they are much cheaper)
- Take pictures of everything, but don't ruin the moment
- Keep a journal or a blog
- Always keep your safety in mind
- Try something new ALWAYS
- Push your limits and comfort zone
- FEEL ALIVE!
- Climb EVERYTHING
- Take up a new hobby
- Favorite landmark: Tower Bridge
- Best views in London: Primrose Hill, St. Paul's Cathedral, The 02, & The Eye
- Best museum in London, naturally the London Museum
- Best food: crepes with nutella and strawberries
- Best pub: O'Neil's
- Supposed best food: Fish n Chips
- Must experience: Chelsea, at Sloane Square tube stop
- Must find: The American Grocery Store
- Must take a picture with a guard
- Must study abroad in LONDON.
December 2nd, 2013
Ireland, the Emerald Isle. I'll start by saying this was my favorite trip thus far. After being thrown into the hectic London lifestyle, and being somewhat passed by and ignored by locals stepping foot into Dublin and having a kind man immediately give us help finding our destination was the perfect change of pace we all needed. We found our hostel fairly easily walking the busy streets of Dublin on Halloween, experiencing some very interesting costumes and very traditional Irish Pubs and Bars. We heard the music before we saw the hostel, and quickly found out they were throwing a Halloween bash to the public. We checked in and immediately went exploring.
The next morning we started off with a walking tour and history lesson of Dublin, with this awesome Irish girl who made the history fun and exciting for all of us. We passed Irish landmarks, and movie landmarks along with the infamous Trinity College, where a graduation was commencing. We walked miles and miles until we ended up at an Irish pub (O'neils), go figure, here we had beef stew! AMAZING. Naturally being in Irish culture we ventured to the Guinness Factory where we had a personal tour of the factory and ended with a complimentary Guinness pouring lesson and beer. We took our beers to the top of the factory where we could see all of Dublin. (Come to find out it was NOTHING like the view from the Cliffs of Moher, still pretty cool) From there the entire group of 40 ventured out together, experiencing the different Irish night traditions and cultures. It was a night I will never forget, with some of the best people I have met abroad.
The next day we journeyed 3 hours to the Cliffs of Moher. To get there you have to go through sharp, curvy, windy roads with no guardrails. I was with a group though and we were all braving the wind together as well climbed up the left hand side of Cliffs first. Guarded by rock walls on one side we were safe as we made it to the highest point and were spit out into the vast openness of the Cliff. Cue the pictures, and we ventured back down to the brave the other side. Unfortunately the wind picked up, the rain started and we didn't have the luxury of a rock wall guarding us. We ran to the castle's archway, (the only way in which we could stay on two feet). Yes the wind was that bad. Hats, scarves, papers, were flying everywhere, people couldn't walk straight, people were being thrown to the ground and linking arms just to increase their weight and ground themselves. So when I say it started getting scary, I mean it. And of course I thought we could brave the wind in order to climb the side path and take pictures with the cows. We got the cow pictures, but it came with a price. The decent down... My friend Maddie and I started off arms linked running for our lives down to the railing and inside area. We didn't make it there as fast as we had hoped, we were thrown to the ground, my hat flew off, and the rain was pelting us in the face. Scariest experience, we honestly didn't think we were going to make it down the Cliff's into cover, but somehow we managed.
Looking back on it now, it was an amazing experience, the Cliffs were unbelievable, the view unreal (we even saw a rainbow) and the feeling you felt so high up was freeing, liberating, it took your breath away (literally), something everyone should experience. We ended our experience with a quick trip to Galway were we tourist shopped and ate at a tradition Irish pub (again) Over all the people, the atmosphere, the scenery, and attitudes made it my favorite trip thus far!
November 13th, 2013
This week my best friend from home surprised me by buying a plane ticket to London just three days before the weekend. I was so excited that not only was she coming to visit but I was able to show her around London and experience all the "touristy" things with her. Luckily for me there were still a few touristy things I hadn't done, like ride the London eye. So what did we do, WE RODE THE LONDON EYE.
This is where I discovered that I am addicted to the top of the world. I know it sounds kind of lame almost cliche but it's true. Everywhere I have gone I have managed to happen upon a mountain, a cliff, a skyscraper an incredible, unbelievable view of different countries, and cities. I have come to love and appreciate a different perspective and view of the world through these "top of the world" moments and the Eye was no disappointment.
As I stood in one of the 32 London Eye pods (32 representing the number of boroughs in London) I saw everything, my adrenaline kicked in and once again I felt on top of the world. People have always told me that mountains, cliffs, and heights far above the skyscrapers make a person feel small, almost inadequate compared to the rest of world, but this has never been the case for me. I always feel big, powerful, and UNSTOPPABLE when I reach the top. It's a liberating, freeing, incredible feeling I have never felt before coming abroad.
These top of the world moments made me reflect back on my life, it will be these moments I will cherish and remember for the rest of my life. Our first trip ever to Edinburgh where we stood on top of a mountain (which we still don't know the name too) and took in the view of the entire town and finally realized we were "studying abroad." The view from the Golden Gallery on top of St. Paul's Cathedral in London, second highest to the Eye, of course the EYE as well. Climbing and standing on top of the world famous Olympic Arena, the O2, and feeling a part of the rich culture and history that went along with it. And lastly ( barely standing due to wind ) a top the Cliffs of Moher, along the gorgeous countryside of Ireland.
I know this feeling is attainable at home, on top of our gorgeous mountain tops, but while I was home I never felt the need or want to experience them, something I am beginning to regret. Fortunately for me I still have so much time to appreciate these opportunities at home but I will never forget the feeling of freedom and life from the highest points during my study abroad journey.
November 11th, 2013
"No one said it would be easy, they just said it would be worth it" The slogan, anthem and truth behind studying abroad.
If you ask any whose ever studied abroad how it was, I can almost guarantee their answer is "the most amazing experience ever, unbelievable, you have to do it!" I too will come home answering the question in the exact same way, but there are some things to understand. No matter where you study please be prepared for a culture shock. Coming to London, an American speaking country I thought I would be all set, not too many differences, changes or obstacles to overcome. What I didn't take into account was my somewhat "sheltered" background.
I've never lived in a city, actually I live in pretty much the complete opposite, and anytime I went into the city, public transportation wasn't even a thought, I was driving and knew exactly where I was going, and where I could park. Living at Bryant, my second home, is AMAZING but let's be honest Smithfield is no city. So you can imagine my shock when I arrived in one of the most famous cities in the world, London, England. Where cars are scarce and public transportation is the norm. I was pushed, almost shoved into a crowd of people who lived and breathed London life, and then there's me who had taken public transportation maybe twice in my life. I had to figure it all out what tube (underground train), bus, above ground train, or bike I was supposed to take to class, to the tourist attractions, to the airports and anywhere else I could possibly be going, all without WIFI. Talk about a wake up call.
Another huge adjustment was the size and placement of my campus and housing. I live off of Old Street, just outside of London's center, which happens to be a 35 minute tube ride to class. Much different than my two minute walk to class. Oh yeah this 35 minute tube ride only takes me to Regent's campus, did I forget to mention University of Westminster has 5 different campuses around London? And has a student population of about 20,000. A little bit different from Bryant huh. I suddenly had become a statistic, a face not associated with a name. Cooking, laundry, cleaning, funds, travel documents; all of a sudden become totally, completely 100% my responsibility. I'll admit it, it's scary! And you have to figure these things out for yourself, and pretty quickly too or you'll go hungry, broke and dirty. Now I'm not saying this to scare anyone, or turn them away from studying abroad because it has honestly been the most life changing experience and such a huge learning opportunity.
The reason I wanted to share this with you all is because I thought I was prepared, I thought it would be a walk in the park, flowers and daisy's, magic everywhere. That is because no one ever told me about the not so great things. Luckily I'm the type of person who loves a good challenge and getting out of my comfort zone, but not everyone's like that. I'm speaking from my own experience and I can't speak or pretend to understand everyone's experience. But I will share with you this I now feel more prepared for my future. I realized I can live completely on my own, I can rely on my common sense and problem solving skills pretty well. I trust my gut, and am not afraid to ask for help, or directions.
I have had the most amazing opportunities and have been privileged enough to travel Europe, experience London life, see the most amazing sights, meet the most incredible people and have come to appreciate the smaller gifts in life. I guess what I'm trying to say is, no one ever seems to tell you about the hardships or not so great things about studying abroad, but they are natural, and a very important part in your study abroad experience. Everyone should love a good challenge, want to over come obstacles, and take control of their life and THEIR experience. Nothing ever worth having comes easy, and sometimes you need to get knocked down to get back up and see life from a new perspective. So like I mentioned before, studying abroad is "the most amazing experience ever, unbelievable, you have to do it!"
I will always cherish my new friends, my unforgettable memories, the unbelievable learning and growing opportunities I had, all while in London, but let me tell you, when I arrive back home I will be appreciating all the little things I once took for granted. (especially my two minute commute to class).
I encourage everyone to at least think about studying abroad, challenging yourself to grow, learn and go GLOBAL. If I can do it, so can you. (The pictures look pretty awesome too)
November 11th, 2013
This past weekend I had the opportunity to travel to Rome! The ONE AND ONLY, ROME, ITALY. If you told me a year ago, even 5 years ago I would have the opportunity to not only study abroad but travel all over Europe I wouldn't have believed you. I always dreamed of traveling the world and seeing anything and everything but when I finally arrived in London, and traveled to my first few stops, I started changing my travel plans and dreams. Who knew how exhausting and stressful traveling could be. I guess you could say I took my parents for granted for always having my travel documents, passports, and directions to literally anywhere and everywhere we would want to go. Oh and they usually provided the funds... So you could say having to be accountable for yourself in literally every aspect it's a challenge. Completely worth it, but none the less another cultural, economic, study abroad challenge that one may not have originally foreseen.
Speaking of cultural challenge or differences in Italy they speak Italian, and no we didn't not see any of the cast of Jersey Shore. Yet we did see Pope Francesco. THE ACTUAL POPE. How many people can say they saw the Pope at the actual Vatican. Let me start from the beginning our hotel was with in five minutes walking distance of the Vatican, so of course after arriving in Rome our first stop was the Vatican. This is where we saw lines bigger than at Disney. Everyone lined the streets and came to visit the Vatican with what seemed like their entire extended family. What we later found out was the Vatican was only open for a couple hours in the morning because the Pope was coming and an event was being held.
At this point we still hadn't the slighest idea why it was so crowded and decided to do a city tour and find all the tourist attractions. Starting with the famous Trevi Fountain. You'd think someone was giving out free gelato or something by how crowded the Trevi Fountain was, and if you stopped for just a split second and looked around EVERYONE was taking the same exact (throw a coin in the fountain and make a wish) picture. Of course we did as well, but that's besides the point. From there we wandered around and happened upon the Spanish Steps. The steps seemed to go on forever and took you either down into the fashion and shopping distract or up to a monument overlooking the busy streets of Rome.
After walking around and getting lost for what seemed like hours we happened to find our way back to the tour bus where headed to our next stop. THE COLOSSEUM. I've seen the pictures but seeing it in person was 10 million times better. As we stood outside amused by the architecture, rich history and placement of it all we had no chance but to head inside. Once inside we looked around finding the artifacts, the columns the once used to stand tall were broken and made into benches.We saw the inside where the prison used to be, and the cages where the people and animals were once stored and as you looked around you couldn't imagine that this place has seen so many deaths. It used to be a public affair, and still is, but the thousands of years between made for much different perspectives. Each place I visit seems to bring me more knowledge and a deeper connection and want to learn when it comes to history.
Over the next day or so we happened about the Pantheon, which seemed like it was dropped in a extremely random part of Rome, and a famous flea market where we obviously had to culture ourselves in the Italian fashion industry. We had too many margarita pizzas to count and could have been just as happy sitting baking in the hot Italian sun, I think I forgot to mention earlier it was 80 degree's there! Which may have been the perfect icing on the cake, or possibly even the entire cake! It was a weekend I will never forget, and in case you were all wondering, I know understand the saying "when in Rome" unfortunately for all you, you'll just have to visit there to figure it out. CIAO!
October 25th, 2013
This past weekend I had the opportunity to not only bring my independence to a new level but meet some pretty awesome people who happen to be my extended family. For the first time ever, I only had myself to rely on when it came to traveling. I have never been anywhere without either another family member or group of people coaching me and guiding me along the way. I would finally have the opportunity to test my instincts, knowledge and independence on my trip to my great aunts. As I left early Saturday morning I headed for the tube station, having pre planned the route I needed to take in order to catch my four hour bus ride to her house. The trip usually only takes 30 minutes tops and I knew exactly where I was going, so I thought about leaving only 45 minutes before the bus but for some reason changed my mind giving myself an hour to travel there. Good thing too, because much to my surprise my tube stop, the one I use each and every day was CLOSED. I had never been to the surrounding tube stops and almost started to panic, not sure what to do next. As I gathered my things and followed the written directions I walked to the nearest bus stop, took the bus to the next tube stop and thought I could hop on my same planned route from there. What I didn't realize was that the entire line I use, not just the station was closed for the weekend! Luckily I figured out a plan b route from that next station. I ran to the platform and quickly boarded, THE WRONG TUBE. I was fortunate enough that I realized it and got off at the next stop which would connect me to where I needed to go. I kept looking at my phone, time was ticking, and I was far from the bus station. As soon as I arrived at the tube station I ran to the bus station arriving with only 3 minutes to spare. I honestly didn't think I was going to make the bus and I would have been so upset because I had such a fun weekend.
As I arrived in the midlands of England my Aunt and Uncle greeted me with open arms! Toured me around the countryside and brought me back to their house. The cutest little brick English home you will ever see. She has a beautiful garden, and Christmas type lights linning the entire back fence. You enter the house through the kitchen and can sit on a porch overlooking the garden and lights. The house was something I have never seen in the states, or even London for that matter, which made it all the more special. Not to mention not being in a home for over two months really makes you appreciate it when you have the chance to be in one! My own comfy bed, equipped with various pillows, a shower and bathroom I didn't have to worry about or share with anyone for the weekend. You may laugh but having gone without for so long can really take a toll on you! After settling in I was able to have dinner with my cousin, who I had met many years before on his visit to the states. He and his brother were both in the Royal Marines! The next morning was my great uncles 70th birthday, which meant I was in for a treat, I was about to meet their entire extended family as well.
We first went to see his mom, the cutest little 95 year old women you will ever meet, from there I was passed around and met with open arms from his brother and sister. Nothing like a bear hug to make you feel apart of the family. Oh I almost forgot to mention, the whole tea phenomenon is real. We had tea before and after breakfast, with breakfast, with lunch, for a snack and after dinner! They love it! From there we all went out for a birthday dinner celebration. I got to try thai food for the first time and I really enjoyed it! This is also where I met my younger cousins and learned all about their futbol games and practices (soccer to us Americans). It was such a nice and relaxing weekend and I was so happy I had the opportunity to meet some of the rest of my family. What a great opportunity, and they enjoyed it just as much as I did, since they are making a special Thanksgiving dinner for me (even though they don't celebrate!) I can't wait to learn more about their lives and more about the English culture.
I almost forgot, they teased my that I brought the rain with me, but look what else I brought
October 22nd, 2013
Living just outside of London Center sometimes makes me forget that I actually live in LONDON. Sometimes I will go days without seeing the historic landmarks and sights that are so defining and attached to London. This causes quite a few reality checks on my part. I will be taking the tube and walking down Oxford Circus (London's famous fashion street) and it will hit me, it did not take me 2 minutes to get to class like it does at Bryant, but it just took me 45 minutes... You have to plan your entire days around the commute, and decide if you are going to stay in London center and explore, do homework or something as simple as go to the gym, or you come back to your flat and be productive around your area. This is something I am not used to at all! Everything is so close at home and just became second nature that I guess I never thought about people having to commute to work or school. I suppose I appreciate the closeness more now that I know what other people have to do everyday, but never the less I enjoy the experience being here and everyday is a new scene, new adventure and gives you just a bit more perspective on life.
Yesterday was one of those moments I was talking about. My friends and I decided to take the tube to London Bridge, since there is a market there called the Borough Market. Come to find out it's under a train bridge but it was amazing. Fresh fruits, vegetables, flowers everywhere not to mention 100's of food vendors claiming their food to be the best. Yet all the food was so different from what we have at home, and a huge variety! I decided to be adventurous and try something different. I ordered an Autumn burger, (not the kind of American hamburger I am used to) Still not really sure what kind of burger it was, but it was topped with shredded cheese, cider and cranberry jelly, stuffed neatly inside a white sandwich roll. It ended up being really good, so of course I had to top it off with dessert. We found a cute little vendor with gluten free rocky road brownies. Now I am not allergic to gluten, but I must say it was delicious. It tasted like a decedent fudge with toasted crunchy marshmallows, raisins, and some other mysterious flavors. Needless to say we will definitely be going back to Borough Market.
After that we walked a little ways down by the Thames to find ourselves right in front of Tower Bridge. It was a windy day but still a beautiful sight and you never get tired of seeing it. So we stopped to do some touristy picture taking and continued on our way. We found a cute little bar and grille called the Upper Deck, that jutted out on the Thames and had no roof, but the view was amazing. You had a picture perfect scene of the Thames, an old military ship and Tower Bridge. All complete with benches, umbrellas and heat lamps. It's days like this that prove to me London was the best place possible for me to study abroad, and that each day is a different adventure and opportunity. It's days like this that make me appreciate the entire experience and make everything worth while.
October 22nd, 2013
I never thought I would be able to find a place in a city that lets you escape completely. Hyde park, somewhere my friends told me to go running was never somewhere I was in a hurry to go see. So it was a huge surprise when I stepped off the tube to see this immense piece of land, the grass greener then green, the trees as full as ever and even statues monuments and cafes all bustling with commotion. Apparently I am the only one who didn't know how amazing this park was because as it poured down on me the people kept pouring in taking in the sights and getting away from the craziness of life. The rain finally cleared and the sun came out, something unusual for London. So I kept on running and turning at different paths taking in the sights and watching all these people.
I came to the conclusion as I stopped and caught my breath that parks attract all walks of life and are much like the circle of life. I walked by couples who were clearly on a first date or starting their relationship, married couples strolling by laughing and holding hands, grandparents with their grandchildren, birthday parties on the grass, people walking their dogs or taking in the gorgeous views. I saw people wandering deeply lost in thought and I saw tourists engrossed in the views and scenery. I felt the relaxation and happiness in the air. It was unlike anything I've ever seen. How could you have this view this park with all these hidden secrets, paths and views in the middle of Central London!
As I continued to walk in awe I realized I had no idea where I was and this is when I found out just how immense the park really was. I have no complaints except the slight foot ache I received by 3 hours later I found my way back to my tube stop and back to reality. I think we can all agree I will definitely be going back, to bike next time, and to take a break from the business and craziness of life. I can't wait to explore new sights and see what else is hiding with in the vast park. I can assure you this is where I will spend a lot of my time and will be truly missed.
October 17th, 2013
Art and Society is a class I am taking while I am studying in London. The class meets once a week for 3 and half hours. The first hour is devoted to a lecture in which we learn about the different approaches to Art and how society views them. We then go into more detail about a specific site. Then we proceed to split up actually go to the site. Of course this involves quiet a bit of walking but none the less we walk as a class, of about 80, to each and every site once a week.
This week we walked to St. Paul's Cathedral. We first learned how St. Paul's was rebuilt after the Great fire of London destroyed the original. It was rebuilt by one of Europe's most famous architects Christopher Ren. He really wanted a big dome on the top of the church but they told him he couldn't make it that large, so the original plan had the dome a lot thinner and smaller. Once they started building though, he slyly convinced and maneuvered around the smaller dome and got away with having them build the original large one he had. When we got inside we looked at the pattern of circles throughout the building and the significance they had/have. We saw the "plain" empty ceilings that Queen Victoria didn't like, and then we moved onto the other half of the ceiling where Victoria got her way in glamorizing a bit. The detail in the paintings is crazy, and gorgeous. They even added an element that made the entire thing sparkle and shine.
We then proceeded to climb up the 528 steps to the very top of the Cathedral. There were three different levels. And each level the steps got smaller and more narrow. It was quiet the experience trudging up the steps and sometimes got a little repetitive, but once we got to the top the work was worth it. You could see all of London! On one side you saw the financial district with all the sky scrappers and buildings, on another you had a view of Tower Bridge and as you kept on moving forward the London Eye came into view. It is probably the best view of London, in all of London!
Each week is a different trip, a different lesson and a different cultural experience. The class really teaches you a lot and allows you to experience the culture and history of London, something I wouldn't have necessarily done on my own! Here's a picture of the view!
October 7th, 2013
Ten things that make me realize I am no longer in Rhode Island and I am definitely not at Bryant University.
Difference number one; I only have four courses here, vs. the five you usually take at Bryant.
Difference number two; each class has a lecture and seminar. Meaning you sit through an hour lecture on the course material, presented by a person whom they call the module leader. These classes tend to be anywhere from 50 people to 100. From there you split up into the various classrooms you were assigned and have a two hour seminar where you talk about course homework and have discussions on the lecture topics and terms.
Difference number three; Each class only meets once a week, so three hours sounds like a lot of time for one class, but it ends up being about the same amount of time as Bryant classes just not two to three times a week.
Difference number four; your classes have the potential of being at 4 various campuses. All are about 15-30 minutes away from each other. I am lucky enough to have all my classes at the same campus but some of my friends have to use up an hour of travel time to get from class to class and campus to campus.
Difference number five; they take attendance but it's not mandatory each teacher has said it makes no difference to them whether or not you come to class.
Difference number six; each teacher wishes to be called by their first name, or title. Being a professor here is quite the honor and only certain faculty members have achieved the title of professor.
Difference number seven; homework is strictly reading, reading from books you can find at the library and links to online (you do not have to purchase your books) Every class that I am in has two assignments, (2 essays less then 2,000 words each)
Difference number eight; finals here are all taken in May, no matter when you took a class, meaning if you are a study abroad student no exams are given, you are given an alternative assessment in each of your courses.
Difference number nine; we go to site visits for one of our courses, Art & Society. We have an hour lecture and then take off around town to visit local museums and galleries.
Lastly difference number ten; There are multiple libraries, all located near different campuses, you need a student ID to swipe into the buildings, and anything student affairs is quite the walk across town.
Now I know this is what large public school setups are like in America, but I have never experienced them before. It really makes you appreciate some things and gives you a lot of perspective on others! It's an experience unlike any other and I am still only a month in! I have so many more stories, adventures and opportunities coming my way and I can't wait to share them all with you as I go!
Click the link to see a picture of the , where I am attending courses here!