Long Classes and Long Weekends

Vera Iwankiw
September 17, 2013

I just completed my first week of classes at the IES Center.

the William Gaines IES Abroad bronze plaque

I am not in any outside courses, but all of the courses I am taking seem to have a very large field study component, which I am very much looking forward too. I am taking Women’s Social History, Service Learning Perspective, Western Art, Architecture, and Theater. My Service Learning class involves a volunteering commitment of about six hours per week. I’m still not a hundred percent sure what my placement is, because I am working for an individual rather than an organization, but I know I will really enjoy getting to know the people of London on a more personal level. My Theater class requires that we go see productions every week, as if I wouldn’t want to do that anyway. My Art class will take me around to almost every art gallery in London, and I will actually have a chance to sketch and paint in them. The Architecture class rarely ever has lectures; most of our classes will be spent outside actually looking at London architecture on walking tours.

I have never taken any sort of artistic, creative class at a collegiate level, so I am a bit intimidated by those classes right now. The classes are all only once a week, but they are two and a half hours long, so, I suggest coffee beforehand. I have classes from Monday thru Thursday, leaving Friday and the weekend open for travel and exploration.

This weekend, we explored the Victoria and Albert Museum. I am absolutely in love with the jewelry exhibit and would have stayed in there for hours if there wasn’t so much else to see there.

swirling glass art display

We also explored the area around Piccadilly Circus, did a little shopping, and saw the outside of Buckingham Palace. Today we went on an IES organized boat trip down the river Thames to Greenwich. There we went into the Royal Observatory, stood on the Prime Meridian, and explored the Queen’s House. Now back to the grind with classes tomorrow!


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Vera Iwankiw

<p><span style="color: rgb(29, 29, 29); font-family: Arial, Verdana, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; line-height: normal; background-color: rgb(237, 237, 237);">I was born and raised in Chicago, where I grew up learning about my Ukrainian culture and language. I currently attend the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana and am studying Human Development with a concentration in Child and Adolescent Development. I play on the university&rsquo;s club water polo team and synchronized swimming team and am active in the National Society of Collegiate Scholars. I have traveled internationally to Ukraine, Canada, and Mexico for vacation and Cape Town, South Africa for a service learning trip. In the future, I hope to continue my studies in law school, with the hope of one day practicing as a family law or child advocate lawyer.</span></p>

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