Optional Study Tour | Literary (Cultural) London


TIA HERE with one of my favorite travel videos I've done so far! This time I went to London, England, for a class trip that involved checking out all of the most interesting cultural spots and touristy areas in the city through an academic lens. Check out the video if you want to see the National Portrait Gallery, the London Eye, the Globe Theatre, the Churchill War Rooms, high tea at the Dorchester Hotel, the Victoria and Albert Museum, platform 9¾, Daunt Books, and the East End. There are also some other fun sights thrown in there, from Buckingham Palace to the London Millennium Footbridge and much, much more. Because you can see most of the trip in the video (happy viewing!), I'm going to use this post to talk more about the class for future DIS students interested in taking it.

The teachers for this class, tentatively called Literary London (might be "Cultural London" or "Living London" when you come to take it), are highly entertaining and adventurous, and they work very hard to make the class and four day trip to the city jam-packed with exciting activities. The hotel they booked had an incredible breakfast, and all of the restaurants we went to together were really lovely. Plus, seeing Billy Elliot for the first time was an emotional roller coaster and taking the acting class at the Globe Theatre was a strange, but worthwhile experience, especially as it was run by a quirky actor-guide who had us shouting lines from Macbeth at one other. After the trip, the one credit class involved writing a 2000 word paper on any vaguely London-related topic we could think of. I wrote about the English period drama, with Downton Abbey as the focus. There was also a quiz that we had to take, post-London, but for those of you scared of the class portion of Literary London—don't be, it's completely worth it.

If you are even somewhat considering a look at DIS's optional study tours while abroad, I would like to highly suggest them. In a tightly organized manner, they pack in more content than I could ever hope to explore on my own if traveling solo and, while pretty tiring, end up to be well worth the money. Both Literary London and the French Culinary Tour were amazing trips that prove that DIS knows best when it comes to presenting Europe to (mostly American) study abroad students. I feel like the Literary London class and teachers allowed me to learn more about the city, both while there and in the classroom, than I would have ever known if I had just taken a sporadic vacation there. Don't hesitate. London is incredible, diverse, exciting, and alive—and knowing the history makes it all the more interesting. Let me know what you decide to do, future DIS students and future travelers to London! This is a city you might fall in love with the second you step off the plane.

For more, check out Tia's new blog!

Much love,

T.