Exploring the Culture, Landmarks and Sights of London

in Boston-London Program, News and Events, Study Abroad
September 7th, 2018

The London semester is packed with assignments and classes, but there’s still time for the activities that make study abroad so enriching– exploring the culture and customs of another country. Some of the London semester excursions are required and built right into the curriculum but students also have a packed calendar of social programming to choose from, at an added cost but often at a discounted rate. This optional programming is facilitated by the Boston University London staff, with logistics like transportation, lodging and sometimes food planned out. Trips and programming will vary by each semester, but here’s a sampling of what students enjoyed in the summer of 2018.

Weekend Trips 

This summer, students could take an adventure weekend to Preseli in Wales or visit the highlands of Scotland.

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  • A coastal hike in Wales. Photo by Lauren Ness

  • Sheep grazing in a field. Photo courtesy of Eric Liu

  • Students met a local resident during a hike. Photo courtesy of Kirthana Iyer

  • Exploring the caves of Pembrokeshire on a sea kayaking trip. Photo by Lauren Ness

  • "I went hiking and made a trip to the smallest city in the UK, St. Davids. Later, a group of us went back to Abermawr Beach and saw the sunset in Wales which was absolutely beautiful." - Photo courtesy of Kirthana Iyer

  • The highlands of Scotland. Photo courtesy of Matthew Dalton

  • At Loch Ness, the home of the legendary Nessie of Scottish lore. Photo courtesy of Matthew Dalton

Day Trips

On the shorter day trips, students explored Windsor Castle and Runnymede and took in views from the Panoramic and Tower of London. They visited Oxford and Blenheim Palace (the ancestral home of the Churchills), the seaside town of Brighton, and Stonehenge and Bath.

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  • Brighton Pier. Photo courtesy of Taylor Brandon

  • "Walking across the Pier and eating fish and chips in the amazing weather of Brighton was a nice break from classes." Photo courtesy of Kirthana Iyer

  • Students at Stonehenge. Photo courtesy of Lauren Ness

Culture and Theatre

Some cultural offerings on the menu this summer: Book of Mormon, Kinky Boots, Matilda, Mamma Mia!, Wicked, and Phantom of the Opera. Students could also enjoy an Italian dinner with wine, take in a football match, have afternoon tea after visiting the British Museum, and visit the Comedy Store. And of course, the Harry Potter Studio Tour is always a popular option.

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  • High tea at Fait Maison. Photo courtesy of Marisa Marino

  • Testing out the motorbike Harry Potter and Hagrid used in an underground tunnel chase. Photo courtesy of Taylor Brandon

  • On Platform 9 3/4 for a trip to Hogwarts. Photo courtesy of Kirthana Iyer

  • On a trip to see Wicked. Photo courtesy of Kirthana Iyer

Liam Quidore (CGS’19) did a Snapchat takeover when he went to see Wicked, and Anne Marie Miscioscia (CGS’19) decorated her room’s bulletin board with mementos from some of the performances she went to see.

London Sights 

Students went to London’s highest heights for some Instagram-worthy views. A view from the Shard– a 95-story skyscraper– lays out all of London in front of you. The London Eye, Europe’s tallest Ferris Wheel, gives a bird’s eye view of the Thames, Westminster, and the heart of London.

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  • Sky Garden provides a beautiful view over all of London. You can see the Shard, the London Bridge, Towers Bridge, and so many other buildings all around while being in an indoor garden as well. Photo courtesy of Kirthana Iyer

  • The London Eye towers over the roofs of London and the Thames. Photo courtesy of Lauren Ness

  • The Tower Bridge. Photo courtesy of Marisa Marino

  • A view from the Shard. Photo courtesy of Marisa Marino

And of course, students do their own exploring, too– whether it’s checking out the vintage stores and food at Camden Market or Greenwich Market, visiting Chinatown and Trafalgar Square, or stopping by Buckingham Palace.

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  • Students eating Indian and Chinese food at Camden Market. "All of Camden Market is vintage and homemade products, so if that's something that interests you, then you should definitely go," says Kirthana Iyer. Photo courtesy of Kirthana Iyer

  • "We went to Trafalgar Square where we saw a bunch of artists in front of the National Gallery, making little pieces of artwork." Photo courtesy of Kirthana Iyer

  • Camden Market. Photo courtesy of Taylor Brandon

  • Grabbing some food at Heddon Street Kitchen in Soho. Photo courtesy of Eric Liu

  • Sunset over Piccadilly Circus. Photo courtesy of Taylor Brandon

Chinatown Gate. Photo courtesy of Eric Liu

Learn more about the London semester in our other posts about courses and assignments, student life, and advising 

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