What makes the Roehampton study abroad experience so unique? Our host university gives us the opportunity to take courses in London studies where we are able to use London as our classroom.
I’m currently taking a course called Media City and Cultural Capital where we will be spending classes learning about and touring places that have made London into the city it is today. Oh, and we get to tour the BBC, so that’s pretty exciting! Our first adventure took us to Kensal Rise Cemetery to learn about the cultural practice of death in the United Kingdom, which is surprisingly much different than what we are used to in the US.
One of the nice things about a London studies course is that it takes us to places we wouldn’t normally visit. For example, I probably wouldn’t have taken the time to go to a cemetery to discover the differences in cultural burial and memorial practices if it wasn’t part of our course. To be honest, a cemetery wasn’t even on my bucket list. But I’m very glad I had the opportunity to visit one as part of my course, because it allowed me to see learn about a cultural practice that is more or less hidden from society.
It also got me thinking. Even if I weren’t in a London studies course at Roehampton, there is still so much that I could learn just on my own. London is filled with free museums (which makes me very happy as a poor college student). There are also tons of cultural and historical sites to visit. I don’t think I’ve gone a day without some sort of cultural or historical learning experiences. Because when you’re in a city as old as London, everything has a story.