London Culture and City Study Abroad

  1. Over spring break, I was fortunate to be able to travel to London and visit several architectural wonders such as Stonehenge, Westminster Abbey, and St. Paul’s Cathedral. I documented this trip through pictures and videos that I compiled into an IMovie along with facts about specific facts along our trip.


2. My study abroad trip to London really challenged me to open my mind and be open to new experiences and the chance to develop new skills. This trip was focused on architecture and how it shapes the culture and city of London. As someone who is not an architecture major and hasn’t taken any sort of sketching or drawing class I figured this would be challenging. Through the trip I grew to appreciate what sketching can help you see about a structure. Sketching and recreating my sketches in different media helped me to better understand the intricacies of the space I was occupying. It also helped me to analyze some of the traditions and things we value in the U.S and there are some cases such as sustainability practices that I feel London is even doing a better job in than the U.S.

3. The faculty leader of my trip really helped to make my experience transformational and fostered a space for growth. During the course we not only learned about the basics of sketching and the different styles of architecture but the culture and history of London as well. We learned about the royal family and their importance to the city, as well as the rich history of the buildings. We discussed the events that led to St. Paul’s Cathedral becoming essentially the heart of the city that all buildings are required to work around in order to not obstruct the view. Before this, I never realized the impact that buildings could have on the planning of a city.


Our faculty leaders encouraged us to be independent as well. In class, they taught us how to use the tube map and we ran through exercises of the best ways to navigate the city via tube and bus. We also learned little mistakes that tourists often make that really made me feel confident in my ability to navigate the city. While they were always there to help if need be, I appreciate the free time we got to go see various sites that we were interested in and personalize our trip.


Last but not least, I enjoyed getting to know the group that I went on the trip with and they really helped to make this experience transformational. Many of these students were architecture students and going into this I knew nobody in the class. Along the way they provided me with helpful tips and encouraging words that helped me to really find my own style of sketching. This really enhanced my experience in each place we visited. This led me to open my mind to learning and seeking out knowledge about subject matters completely different from the one that I am studying.


4. I feel that this experience has molded me into a more well-rounded person. I have gained knowledge about the culture and practices of the people of London. I have also gained a sense of independence as I learned how to navigate and be self-sufficient in a completely different country. I would definitely love to go back to London and take a look at the differences between their media practices and ours and learn more about crafting messages that will be relevant on a global scale. For my first trip abroad, I feel that this was the best possible opportunity for me and I thoroughly enjoyed my time in London.

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