Originally written on December 5th, 2017.
I’ve spent the last few days reminiscing about my time in London. I arrived here nearly three months to today, and in such a short amount of time, I have done, seen, and experienced so many things. I didn’t realize all that I had accomplished in the last twelve weeks until I took some time a couple days ago to look back on all the memorabilia I had saved from my different adventures.
One of the selling points of doing the London Internship Program is being able to work in your industry of choice while living in the city. The ability to gain overseas work experience is a rare one, especially as undergraduates.
While in London, I interned at English National Ballet (ENB), and the experience was more than I could have ever asked for. I learned so much about ballet and the performing arts; met, bonded, and networked with amazing colleagues; and experienced a fast-paced, creative PR workplace first-hand.
Other internship placements included art galleries, museums, magazines and newspapers, radio stations, schools, and so much more. The possibilities are truly endless, and sadly, the seven weeks of our placements went by way too fast. I am fortunate to have been placed with such an amazing team at an organization I care so much about. I can’t wait to visit ENB at the new headquarters when I come back to London in the future!
Concerts + shows:
While I was here, I was able to see two of my favorite artists live: Mac DeMarco and Harry Styles.
Harry’s concert was a crazy experience, to say the least, because of how popular he is and the number of fans waiting for him at the venue (people had been camping out in the freezing cold a week in advance!). The show was a surprise from a friend also studying abroad, and the best gift she could have given me (I am a huge lover of Harry since his One Direction days).
Another show I saw was Mamma Mia! LIVE in the West End at Novello Theatre. Most of my friends know Mamma Mia! is my favorite musical ever, and one of my favorite films of all time (In fact, as I write this, I am listening to the movie’s soundtrack). The show was maybe the most fun I’ve ever had in a musical before. It was an amazing feeling to experience the story in a live format and to see everyone else singing along with the cast. I highly recommend Mamma Mia!, as it’s a must-see for veteran and novice musical-goers alike.
Although I was able to travel outside of England to Paris, and then Edinburgh and Copenhagen, I chose to spend more time exploring our home city of London, as well as other cities around the country.
I didn’t realize the sheer amount of one- and two-day trips I took to various locales all around England, including Liverpool, Manchester, Oxford, Cambridge, Dover, Canterbury and Brighton. Most of these trips were taken through the social program events offered by BU.
Liverpool is definitely a place I encourage everyone to visit. The city is a perfect blend of historical and modern, and it reminds me a lot of Boston in terms of its geography and atmosphere. It hosts one of the extensions of the Tate museums, Tate Liverpool, and it is a great city for shopping and culture. London is also a wonderful place to spend your weekends, obviously, as it has a never-ending list of things to do.
Our campus is located near the central museum hub of London, which includes those like the Victoria & Albert Museum, the Natural History Museum, the Science Museum, and then also Kensington Palace in Hyde Park. It’s worth staying in England for a couple weekends, not only to enjoy London and the place you’re calling home for the semester, but also to venture to other smaller cities around the capital.
Overall, my time abroad has been a really transformative period of learning about new cultures as well as about myself. Though I am missing my hometown of Annapolis more and more, I know I will miss London dearly as soon as I get off the plane. I came on this study abroad experience nervous and unsure if I would be able to hand living on my own, abroad no less, but I am returning home with a newfound confidence and enough memories to last a lifetime.
If you have the ability to study abroad, I wholeheartedly recommend it. I promise you will return home better for it, not only as a more well-rounded student, but a more culturally aware and world-minded person.
Asli Aybar, London Study Abroad Program Correspondent
Asli Aybar is a junior studying public relations, French, and European Studies. When she graduates, she wants to work in publishing or music PR, hopefully in a country where she can put all those years of French class to good use. She loves Thai food, blanket scarves, Jane Austen, and a good striped tee.