It is fair to say that this semester did not go the way that anyone expected. Despite the twists and turns there were a lot of memorable moments from this semester. Join us in a stroll down memory lane as we share our highlights from the past few months.
Our students hit the ground running from the moment we welcomed them all at Heathrow Airport. In between informational sessions on how to manage a semester in the UK, we filled their time with fun activities like walking tours, boat trips to Greenwich, a West End show and a pub quiz. By the end of the first week the students were already more familiar with their new home and well recovered from the jet lag! Read more about what went on during orientation week in our past blog post.
We had a blast exploring different parts of London, and even Europe, with our students this semester. First, we toured Hampton Court Palace, the famous home of King Henry VIII. There is a great deal of history to get lost in at Hampton Court, as well as their famous maze!
We then took our students to new heights with a trip to St. Paul's Cathedral. This iconic London building dates back to 604 AD, although it didn't take its present form until Sir Christopher Wren repaired it after the Great Fire of London in the late 17th century. No visit would be complete without journeying to the top of the Dome for some stunning views of London.
Our students also had a chance to put their baking skills to the test at the Great British Bake Off event. Professional bakers led them through the skills needed and even crowned a star baker. I am certain many of their creations would have gotten the elusive Paul Hollywood handshake.
One of the great things about studying in the UK is the proximity to mainland Europe and how easy it is to travel for a weekend. Our students experienced this first hand on our weekend trip to Paris. They marveled at the masterpieces in the Louvre and gazed at the beauty of the City of Love from the top of the Eiffel Tower and a boat trip down the Seine. By the end of the weekend they were feeling very cultured and pros at ordering croissants.
Some of our favourite moments from this semester have been the chances we have had to connect with our students through our Hidden London events. These are a series of free events for students so they can engage with the city without breaking the bank. During this semester we strolled along the canals of the neighbourhood known as "Little Venice", discovered ancient Roman ruins in the heart of the city, and were blinded by the neon treasure trove known as God's Own Junkyard.
Our Talk of the Town series (think Ted Talk in a pub!) engaged us through political discussions from Democrats Abroad, taught us about facial recognition's use in psychology, and helped us see Shakespeare through a different lens.
Now that everyone has returned home and the world has moved online, we are happy that we've still been able to engage with our students. From chats over cups of coffee to game nights and a virtual Talk of the Town, it has been great to stay connected. The memories don't have to stop just because you are no longer in the UK. Join us on Wednesday 6th May for a cookalong on Instagram live, and on Thursday 14th May for a virtual pub quiz!
Although we had to say farewell too soon, we had a lovely semester with everyone and hope you all continue to stay safe and well. As always, please feel free to share your favourite memories with us and tag ArcadiaEngland so we can stay in touch.