The sun sets over a swan-strewn lake casting twilight shades of gold, burnt orange, and dusky purple over the water. The moon hangs low over the bridge. Friends toss frisbees, saunter through rose gardens, and walk together around the lake. It’s a perfect evening and it seems like something out of a movie or maybe a novel- but this is just the simple reality of a wonderful evening in London. On Monday, our students found themselves in this very dream setting: Hyde Park at sunset. They grabbed a light dinner at the Lodge Cafe and ate in the courtyard, before students had time to explore the park in all of it’s golden hour glory. Everyone was enchanted by how beautiful it was, especially with the elegant swans!
Tuesday, students had the opportunity to visit Oxford Circus. Oxford Circus is the heart of London’s shopping district. It features huge flagship stores and Selfridges department store. On our optional trip here, students grabbed dinner at a thai restaurant and then explored their favorite shops. Many of our students were eager to fit some shopping into their trip and this definitely satisfied them! Students who weren’t interested in Oxford Circus had the chance to grab dinner with friends at two of our favorite home area restaurants: Tossed, a build-your-own-salad restaurant, and The Real Greek, a delicious Greek small plates restaurant. Our group has a very dedicated group of basketball players, so they have an opportunity to play every Tuesday and Thursday evening. They play at Copper Box Arena, an arena used in the 2012 Olympics and is now a state-of-the-art gym and fitness facility. It’s awesome that our students get to play sports in such a legendary place.
As always, Wednesdays mean the Career Development Series. This week students met with a Collegewise representative to get tips about applying for college. They learned about admissions to highly selective universities, common myths about college applications, and tips for writing a stand-out college essay. Afterward, students and staff grabbed gelato at Amorino, famous for their floral ice cream creations. When they returned, they were invited up to the 24th floor of our building for a panoramic view of London and karaoke. While they started out singing pop songs, our program has lots of musical theater enthusiasts, so the night took on an impromptu Broadway theme. They enjoyed jamming out to songs from Mamma Mia!, Grease, Book of Mormon, Hairspray, and Disney movies. Everyone had a great time!
Thursday was another busy day of internships, classes, trips to the gym, and dinners out around our home area. There was also an opportunity to visit one of London’s most famous department stores: Harrod’s. Located in Knightsbridge, it was founded it in 1849 and has 330 departments. Students enjoyed getting lost in the food hall which has everything from confectionaries to exotic delicacies. They also enjoyed wandering through fancy jewelry and designer fashion, challenging each other to find the most expensive items.
Everyone is looking forward to the weekend! There are trips planned throughout the city whether students want to see the new Lion King movie, learn about British history at The Tower of London, or take in London’s bustling market scene. Students even have the opportunity to tour Parliament or Arsenal Football Stadium. This weekend we also say good-bye to our first session of business students. We really enjoyed working with them and will miss them a lot. Some of them are off to Cambridge for the rest of the summer, whereas others are returning home or onto other adventures. We also await 25 new students arriving from Cambridge and around the world on Sunday. We can’t wait to see how they create their own London stories here!