Classes at UCL begin in earnest on Monday. Before then my fellow study abroad students and I have been doing seriously fun sightseeing around London! Thus far, the biggest perk of living in London, a city with amazing public transportation, is the ability to quickly and easily travel all around! In the last week Megan, a junior, and I have had the opportunity to travel to Oxford University, Windsor Castle, Eton College, and Camden Market!
The day trip we took to Oxford was so enjoyable we’ve made plans to repeat the trip! I was impressed by the age and beauty of London, but that’s because I hadn’t yet seen Oxford.
I couldn’t resist snapping a photo of a school class posing with the castle guard. While we toured the castle we were able to see the armor of King Henry VIII, entire rooms covered in pistols, swords, and muskets, and even the bullet that killed Admiral Nelson at the Battle of Trafalgar!
Eton College is a well respected, all boys prep school just a short walk from the castle. It’s a notable institution for having educated Prince William, Prince Henry, and 19 – yes, 19! – British Prime Ministers! The courtyard below was made famous in the movie Chariots of Fire:
After a year spent in “soft-lockdown” at home in Atlanta, and as Caltech students prepared to finally return to campus, I was aboard an eight hour flight towards Edinburgh, Scotland. Since my junior year plans were interrupted by the virus who shall not be named, I’m spending my first term of senior year studying abroad through the Caltech - Edinburgh University International Exchange program. I’ve only been here just over a week yet have been exposed to so many new people, perspectives, foods, and classes.
When the announcement was first made that fall term was going to be online, I started talking to friends and looking for places to live. We were debating locations around the country: California, Florida, New York, etc.. there were plenty of options. Then it suddenly hit me, what is stopping us from going to Hawaii, covid numbers were better and a two week quarentine would ensure that numbers stayed down… I proposed this to my friend and we agreed it would be an amazing experience, but we didn’t want to get out hopes up. A month or so later we still haven’t decided where to live, Hawaii seemed too far and too difficult to plan. But we couldn’t get the idea out of our heads. We spent some time looking into plane tickets, places to stay, etc… and it actually didn’t seem so impossible after all. A couple weeks later and we were arriving here on the big island!
I visited Amsterdam for a brief two and a half days during my vacation. There were a few landmarks and neighborhoods I wanted to checkout, but did not plan the visit in detail. As such, when it came down to destinations with ticketed entries, I had to skip most of them, since they did not have day-of tickets left for sale. Fortunately, I was able to walk around most of the city and it was generally a good time.