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Hello London

“Let new adventures begin.” – Unknown

Hello everyone and greetings from London! My adventures in Paris have finally come to a pause (not an end because one day I will be back) and though it was hard saying goodbye, I am happy to say hello to London and to start new adventures in the city of dreams. Here in London, I will be studying with FIE or Foundation for International Education. Foundation for International Education is a London-based non-profit educational organization, that provides partnership programs and individual student enrollment programs in London, Dublin, and Amman for undergraduate students. FIE is based in South Kensington, London, which is a borough surrounded by some amazing cultural destinations such as the Natural History Museum, the Science Museum, the Victoria and Albert Museum, Royal Albert Hall, and Kensington Palace (where Prince William his family lives) #amazeballs 🙊🙈.

As part of the Paris + London curriculum I am continuing my studies of culture and the two classes that I am taking are Food, Society, and Culture in Britain and History of Modern Design. As I mentioned in a previous blog, these classes and this program, do not relate to my major but that is what makes them so appealing. I love that I am learning something new and different outside of the biological and chemical spectrums. And the fact that one of the classes has the word food in the title…count me in.

Upon my arrival in London, FIE had a weekend of activities lined up for us. The first one being a tour of London and a visit to the Houses of Parliament on Saturday and a theatre show on Sunday. Besides the fact that it low-key started raining near the end of the tour, it was nice to go out and see London IRL. I remember seeing the city on my television during movies and the 2012 Olympics as well as imagining it in books and thinking how great it would be to be there someday, especially because my family lives here too, and finally having that dream become a reality…amazing. Of all the places that we visited during the tour my favorite place was Borough Market. Borough Market is a wholesale and retail food market in London and is one of the largest and oldest food markets in London. We did not spend a lot of time there, just a quick walkthrough but so far, it’s my favorite place in London and I will be back there very soon because I saw a lot of food that was calling my name. After seeing Borough Market our tour guide took us to the Monument to the Great Fire of London and then to see Big Ben and the Eye of London. Everything was going well until my friend and I stopped to take a picture which led us to lose our group. It was totally fine though because we would them again when it was time for our Houses of Parliament tour.

The Houses of Parliament consists of the House of Commons and the House of Lords in the Palace of Westminster. The Palace of Westminster and the element of fire have not been friends as the Palace was destroyed by a fire in 1512 and again by an even greater fire in 1834. The reconstruction of the Palace was done by architect Charles Barry with assistance from Augustus Pugin. It was a long and hard battle to finish its reconstruction but after 30 years the Palace of Westminster was complete. We weren’t allowed to take pictures during 98.99% of the tour but take my word for it when I say that the Palace was really really nice and I learned a lot about the history of the United Kingdom.

Next on the weekend activities list was a theatre show called, The Play That Goes Wrong at the Duchess Theatre. The play was a comedy literally about a group of people trying to put on a production while everything goes wrong such as props on the walls falling down, cast members forgetting words, missing cues, floors collapsing and so much more. I lowkey missed the first 30 minutes of the show because I thought it started later than it actually did, but I still had a lot of fun and I really enjoyed the show.

London and I are getting off to a good start. Until next time, xoxo, Joella.

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