Exploring London

Submitted by Janaina Lima on the 2024 Winter ENGL program in London, England…

Museums, Cathedrals, and Oxford… oh my!

The Royal Palace

This past week has been filled with so much personal reflection and connection to what I’ve had the pleasure of viewing. London does a spectacular job at holding some of the most valuable art in its museums. The week started off at the Virginia & Albert Museum which I would recommend to anyone visiting. You could spend days there and still need more time! I had the pleasure of experiencing the DIVA exhibition, which featured the redefinition of the word diva throughout history by countless prominent figures. Taking a term that some may use to be diminishing and making it a symbol of empowerment. In addition we traveled to the Museum of London Docklands, learning all about the history of the River Thames. The interactive museum allowed me the opportunity to really understand the growth and development to London through the docks while also analyzing and critiquing the history of the Atlantic slave trade. 

A trip to St Paul’s Cathedral brought about a new level of appreciation for such historically captivating buildings. Next to its rich history, the cathedral is so beautiful it’s almost glamorous. From the columns to the artwork on the ceilings and the gold embellishments. 

We finished off the week heading to Oxford University. Which was just as illustrious as I’d always imagined! Getting to learn the lore of the university while also admiring its pristine architecture was incredibly exciting! It was really strange to think about how different the experience is for students at Oxford versus my college experience at Delaware. I think it would be funny to trade places for a day with a student, but that would definitely be enough for me! (Submitted on January 22, 2024)

Last Week in London

You don’t realize how fast 21 days will go by until you’re on your flight home reminiscing on the life changing experiences you’ve had in the last 3 weeks. This final week has been filled with so many exciting excursions and so much reflection on my time abroad! This week I finally got to venture over to Buckingham Palace and Big Ben. Getting to see the royal residence was exciting, specifically thinking about the illustriousness that is within the palace walls. And big Ben was of course a sight to see in all its glory! A trip to Churchill’s war rooms took us through what it was like to be Winston Churchill during WW2. It was eye opening to take a look into his life and we even got to see the bunker in an almost completely unchanged state from the moment they had gotten the call that the war was over. Our class took a trip to the Globe Theatre where we had the opportunity to also see Shakespeare’s Othello. The theater company put on a phenomenal show that had us all captivated by their talent. And of course being in London I had to journey over to the Warner Bros. Studio Tour to see the set of all 8 Harry Potter films. As a lifetime fan it truthfully took my breath away! Getting to see the action behind the magic was something I never thought I’d get to see but was so glad I had been able to. Even if Hogwarts was just a tad bit smaller than I’d always imagined! (Submitted on January 29, 2024)

Hogwarts at Warner Bros. Studio