Students get to experience many different sides of London by being provided with walking tours of different neighborhoods in London, from their own neighborhood in South Kensington to some of the oldest parts of Central London. Group visits occur to various sites of historical, cultural, or religious importance. Some examples of visits in the past include Parliament Square, a football (soccer) match, visits to war memorials, and Fazl Mosque. Even while still in the classroom, students experience culture in the British Life and Culture class.
Included in the program fee are opportunities to attend a collection of cultural events in London. These events vary each term depending on London's cultural calendar, but they will generally include three to four theatre productions (ranging from experimental fringe theatre productions, the West End, to Shakespeare), in addition to other performances, British film, countryside hikes to famous estates such as Waddesdon Manor or Hever Castle, British comedy evenings, London pub quiz, London treasure hunts, sport, or other events. All students are encouraged to participate in these events to get a sense of the variety of today’s London.
All students participate in a day-long field trip. In past terms, this excursion has been to Bath, Bristol, Stratford-upon-Avon or Brighton. This excursion is also attended by professors, who provide additional information about sites and help students think critically about these experiences - how history is presented and how this presentation affects modern citizens. This day trip is included in the program fee.
Students are provided with a membership to the University of London Imperial College student union, which provides access to a restaurant, pub, library, recreation rooms, and many student clubs. The union is very near the London Centre.
Around the middle of each term, there is a week-long break in courses and academic commitments of the program. This time is left open for more extensive student travel independent of the program. This time for travel often leads to some of the most fantastic experiences students have during their term abroad. London lends itself to easily accessible destinations throughout the United Kingdom, the rest of Europe, and beyond and students have a week to take full advantage of these. Whether it be visiting another major city of Europe, backpacking through the Highlands of Scotland, or whisking off to North Africa or Mount Athos in Greece, these opportunities for travel are one of the fundamental ways in which students personalize and make their study abroad experience uniquely their own.
The London Centre staff strongly believes in the benefit to students in creating and tailoring their own travel plans. While we do not organize itineraries for weekend or week-long travels, we are available to advise students in the planning stages. There is also a selection of travel books, maps, guides, and other travel materials available to students.