Postcards from London: South Kensington

This semester, we at the COMmunicator will be highlighting study abroad trips of both present and past. Check out what Keelan Higgins had to say about her summer trip to London!

On May 22, 2017, 17 COM graduate students embarked on the annual London Mass Communication Graduate Program. European study abroad programs call forth many thoughts – including notions of adventure, glamor, growth, and culture.

Perhaps you’re picturing 17 students living in posh London sipping on tea after long strolls along the Thames. If so, you’re basically spot on.

Quite fortunately, for any Boston University student studying in London, the campus is situated in the affluent and stylish South Kensington neighborhood. This year, thanks to the 300+ undergraduate students occupying the BU dormitory (called The Sorbonne House), the Mass Communication graduate students are starting the London experience with their own individual flats in Lightfoot Hall, located just off of lively King’s Road in Chelsea.

To those at home, that may mean close to nothing, but Londoners will tell you: This is the place to be.

In living in the Royal Burroughs of South Kensington and Chelsea, we find that our cups runneth over with high-end boutiques, grocery markets on every corner, café windows filled with sweet pastries, and pastel-colored townhouses fitting neatly into rows along each picturesque street.

Though they are famously as pretty as a postcard, South Kensington and Chelsea are just our gateway into the sea of rich history and culture that London has to offer.

If coming to Boston felt like an adventure, experiencing London is a full-fledged expedition. The city is expansive, spreading thin and far into subterranean corners awaiting discovery. As a travel neophyte, I’ve spoken to veterans of the London landscape. They admit that, after countless trips, discovering London is a task forever unfinished.

Fortunately for our team of graduate voyagers, the Carlyle Square bus stop sits right outside Lightfoot Hall, and the Sloane Square and South Kensington tube stops are only a short walk away (depending on who you ask – about 20 minutes).

Oyster Cards (London’s Charlie Card equivalent) in hand, we’ve found ourselves weaving through crowds and vendors at the famed Portobello Market, “doing it for the ‘gram” in front of rainbow-colored houses in Notting Hill, gazing in awe at graffiti artists in Shoreditch, buying vintage clothing in Boxpark, meeting royal dogs at the house where “The Parent Trap” was filmed, and searching (with our tastebuds) for the best dessert, coffee, and dining in town.

Believe it or not, between each adventure, we are stopping for class – exploring the nature of selfies at Saatchi Gallery with adjunct professor Alison Palmer, as well as learning about Global MarCom and the British Consumer with professor Tobe Berkovitz.

As I write from Chelsea Quarter, the quaint café across the street from Lightfoot, many of my graduate peers are finishing their first round of internship interviews scheduled with local companies. In July, our six weeks of class will come to a close, and five weeks of internship experiences will begin.

Today, we continue in London as amateurs – observing, learning, and exploring – knowing that after a number of tomorrows, we will close our internships and leave London as Masters.

 

Keelan Higgins, Contributing Writer

Keelan Higgins is a communications associate at Dotdash in New York City. In September 2017, she graduated from Boston University with her master’s degree in mass communication after studying abroad in London. An avid reader and writer, Keelan believes learning, empathy, creativity, and dessert hold the keys to life’s greatest adventures.

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