Category Archives: England

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Week 6: In the Homestretch

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.

The Tower Bridge

The Tower Bridge

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.

At the studio tour!!

At the studio tour!!

The Hogwarts Castle Model

The Hogwarts Castle Model

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.

Night bus tour view of the London Eye

Night bus tour view of the London Eye

Rainbow we saw from the train back to Scotland

Rainbow we saw from the train back to Scotland

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!

Natalie

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A Jolly Good Time

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 line for this was a bit ridiculous!

The line for this was a bit ridiculous!

Bus Selfies!

Bus Selfies!

Peter Pan statue in the park

Peter Pan statue in the park

The Palace!

The Palace!

The weather has been very warm, I’m hoping it will get cooler soon! I cant wait for more adventures to come!

Cheers,

Courtney

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Week 2 in London!

Hello again!

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!

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The crown Jewels in Scotland

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Week 1 in London!

Hello!!

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!

DSCN0201  The Crown Jewels DSCN0206   DSCN0207   DSCN0208

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Before and Arrival Time in London

Hey everyone!
So much has happened since before departing for London and arriving to London.
Let me start from before I left. I had run around to gather a few last minute things and then arrived to the Portland Airport, thus was my second time on the plane so it was a little nerve wrecking. Saying goodbye to my family was the hardest part, but after passing along to security it wasn’t so bad. When we landed in Canada to catch the second flight the flight became delayed! It was really hectic because when we went back to the gate to enter the plane there had been a huge line so it turned out the plane wasn’t as delayed as they said it would be. Being on the plane scared me so much, seeing the tiny buildings and nearby clouds surround us made me feel as if I was in an intense roller coaster, luckily nothing too dramatic happened. Being on the plane for 10 hours was the worst, it was difficult to get any sleep and the fact that as soon as we arrived to London we would be having to do tours, and meet everyone.

Upon arrival to London we had been sent to our rooms, got settled in and then went on a walking tour of the small shops and nearby restaurants from our campus. It was AMAZING! I suddenly didn’t feel homesick at all, and exploring around the area has been such an amazing opportunity. The next day we went to a city tour bus, where we got a guided tour from the bus from a Londoner. Once the tour was over we had the opportunity to explore on our own and that is exactly what we did! We spent all day in the city of London visited the London Bridge, the London Eye, Big Ben, and the London Tower. Went to two markets, got lost but managed to make our way back to campus. Today we visited St. Paul church and went to a chain restaurant called Nando’s, the food there is incredible! Classes start tomorrow so I will be preparing for that, so until next time! DSCN0106  The London Eye DSCN0093  Trafalgar Square DSCN0124 Tower of London

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Off to London Tomorrow!

Tomorrow’s the big day! I’m about to start my study abroad experience in London! I am very excited, but am chronically worried that there’s something I forgot to pack. I guess that’s just my nerves getting the better of me. Tomorrow’s going to be an incredibly long day for me, consisting of at least 21 hours of travel time. My first flight tomorrow leaves at 3:30 PST, and I have to meet my professor at PDX by 1:30. This would not be a problem, but I live over six hours away from Portland, so I’ll be up bright and early tomorrow trekking to the airport crossing my fingers that I have everything I will need. From Portland, I fly to Vancouver, where I have a two hour layover, then off for a 9+ hour flight to London Heathrow. We are due to arrive at LHR at 11:30am local time, which is 3:30am my time. Hopefully I’ll be able to get some sleep on the plane so that I can enjoy my first day in the UK, but I’ve never been able to sleep for more than an hour on a plane, so I hope there’s a coffee shop near King’s College. I’ll need something to help me get through my first day. Although I have an early wakeup tomorrow and a tedious journey ahead of me, I am very excited to be heading off to London and getting a once in a lifetime experience. Here’s to hoping I’m able to sleep tonight!

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Week 3: Off to England and Wales!

Hello everybody! I can’t believe that it is already the end of week 3 over here in Scotland. As the title of this post probably points out, I traveled to England and Wales this weekend! Thursday we went to Edinburgh where we went to the Elephant House (cafe where J.K Rowling wrote some of Harry Potter), The National Museum of Scotland, and Edinburgh Castle. Most of the castle was closed off for a private event, which sucked until we realized that the Queen would be arriving when we were there. So, we hung around and I actually saw the Queen of England! It was pretty exciting.

At the Elephant House (I had a huge nerd moment)

At the Elephant House (I had a huge nerd moment)

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The Queen of England!

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The view from Edinburgh Castle

From Edinburgh, a group of us took a train to London, where we would be spending the weekend. It was my first time on a train, so I was pretty excited, but eventually my exhaustion took over and I slept most of the way until we arrived at Kings Cross Station. After going to the wrong hotel and realizing that our reservations were for the wrong weekend, we eventually found a hotel with vacancies and got some much needed sleep. The next day (which also happened to be the fourth of July) we did a lot, we didn’t waste any time. We went to Buckingham Palace and saw the changing of the guard, went and saw Titus Andronicus at the Globe Theatre, rode the London Eye (my personal favorite-the views were amazing), saw Parliament and Big Ben, saw Westminster Abbey, Downing Street, and Trafalgar Square. It was a jammed packed day of sightseeing. It was surreal to see all of these landmarks that we all know in person, it finally hit me that we were actually in London when I saw Big Ben all lit up as we were walking around that evening.

Kings Cross Station

Kings Cross Station

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Big Ben

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Me on the London Eye on the Fourth of July!

Me on the TARDIS set at the Doctor Who Experience in Cardiff.

Me on the TARDIS set at the Doctor Who Experience in Cardiff.

The next day, we took a day trip to Cardiff (which is in Wales) to go to the Doctor Who Experience, which was pretty exciting for me, being a huge Doctor Who fan. They had a huge exhibition of costumes, props, and even some sets to look at. It was really surreal to see all of the things I have watched on TV. They also had models of all of the monsters that are in the show, which was also really cool. Sunday we took a train back to Scotland and we were all exhausted by that point. I took the rest of the evening to relax, Skype with my family, and unpack all of my stuff. While this trip had its ups and downs, it was a lot of fun. I realized what a great thing it is that my Dad taught me how to read a map, because if not, we probably would have been hopelessly lost. I also learned that the London underground isn’t as complicated as it looks. Overall, I made some great memories and can’t wait to do it again.

Until next time,

Natalie

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Pre-Departure/Intro

After finals week time has really flown by for me! Only 6 days until its goodbye USA! I have been extremely busy and haven’t had time for an intro post, so I’ll just put that in with my pre-departure now!

First of all my name is Courtney Fennimore and I’m studying Elementary Education at WOU. I want to teach fourth or fifth grade. I just recently turned 21 so that’s pretty exciting!  I’m currently working two jobs; I’m floor associate at Kohl’s and a part time nanny.  The picture below are of my Dad, younger brother and I, the other is me and some of my best friends on Halloween!

courtspic   courtspic

Why do I want to go to London? Well, I have been dreaming of going since I was little. I think it all started because I wanted to be a princess and I was convinced that one day I’d meet Prince William and we’d get married. (A dream I grew out of as I got older!)  I’ve also always been a musical person and the British music scene is probably the best in the world. My favorite bands and artists are: Ed Sheeran, The 1975, Arctic Monkeys, The Beatles, One Direction (seriously they’re adorable), and Mumford and Sons. Of course they all happen to come from across the pond!  Also I feel like I should mention I watch a lot of Doctor Who, so that really feeds into my love of all things English.

edsheeran

(I met Ed 2 years ago and it’s probably the greatest moment in my life so far. Go listen to him if you haven’t, seriously).

I have always had the desire for adventure and to explore new places so when this opportunity came up there is no way in the world I was going to let it pass me by!

For some reason I keep thinking there won’t be much of a cultural difference. Yes they have accents and call stuuf different names, but I think at the core British and American people are pretty similar. Of course once I’m over there I’ll be able to see if i’m right. I am a little weary about using The Tube I’ve only traveled in the Western US so I have never used any kind of subway system! Just looking at that map is a little overwhelming.  I’m hoping it’ll be as easy as they say, or that someone will be around to help me out!

tube map

Right now I’m not nervous at all, I’m actually really calm. I’ve been so busy with work, family, and my classes assignment I don’t think I have really had time to let the fact that I’m going really sink in. I’m sure once I get on the plane it will finally hit me!

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Introduction & One Week Until Departure Posts

I’ve been very busy and sick since finals week ended, and I haven’t gotten around to my introduction post, so this post will serve as double duty for my Introduction and my week until departure post. My name is John Goldsmith, I am an English lit major, and this summer I will be participating in CCSA’s London Summer program at King’s College London and will be taking a literature course on Shakespeare while I am there. I chose to participate in this program for several reasons. While most of my goals for this program are academic related, my primary goal is to branch out and immerse myself in a new location with new faces. At Western, I have been lucky enough to have made incredible friendships through my work as a Peer Mentor (picture on the right) as well as my years on campus (picture on the left). My friends at Western provide me with feelings of safety and security, but I don’t want to become too dependent on the relationships and connections I’ve made at WOU. By participating in this program, I am able to expand my horizons by living in a brand new city with people whom I’ve never met before. I am certain that this program will not only encourage me academically, as I will be studying in one of the premiere cities for English Literature, but I will also be able to make myself a more adaptable person in the real world.

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I have one week left until I leave for London, and so far everything seems to be going smoothly. I am a bit nervous about the travel and the overall experience, but I’m more excited than anything. Last night, on our program’s Facebook page, the other students and I had a very lengthy post regarding which characters from the Harry Potter series and the Lord of the Rings were superior to their most similar counterpart. Having a post like that, where we were all able to express our opinions and be ourselves, made me much more excited about meeting the people I will be studying with over in London. I have also started the readings for my class, but due to being chronically busy and recently falling sick with a nasty cold, I haven’t been able to read as much as I would like. Aside from my readings, I am prepared for my month in London. I have everything I will need for my time over there, and all I have left to do is pack my suitcase. Until then, I will be relaxing and making the most of my time home before I leave.

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14 Days and Counting ’till Departure

London Underground

I leave for London in less than 14 days and I could not be more excited! However, like most tourists, I’m nervous. I’ve never really been in a large city on my own before.  Sure, I’m a frequent visitor to the Portland area, but with my folks and I’ve been to New York City twice, but the first time I almost lost my eye to an umbrella wielding New Yorker and the second time I was almost hit by a taxi. I suppose what I’m trying to say is that I’m a little weary of the large crowds that I’ll encounter in London.  I’m also worried about finding my way around and the large possibility that I’ll get lost.  Luckily, my parents have equipped me with enough maps and travel books for a small tour group, so hopefully misdirection won’t be a major problem.  Besides, if it does happen, I’ll just roll with it.  Personally, I really don’t know what to expect in London, but I know that I will encounter several different cultures living together in one space and centuries of history, both of which I am eagerly anticipating.  Overall, I believe this will be a great experience for me; on a personal and a cultural level.

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