This weekend I went on an IES sponsored trip to Stonehenge, Salisbury, and Bath. I really enjoyed Stonehenge; I am a sucker for old, mysterious things. It looked so different from each angle and I liked that the history and significance was explained to us on the bus before we got there. Salisbury cathedral was gorgeous, and Bath was like stepping into the 18th century. I especially liked going to see the Roman Baths because it’s mind boggling to think that ancient people, thousands of years ago lived here. I was bummed that the water was green and had meningitis though- it didn’t seem all that healthy to me. I also visited the Jane Austen center while there, and it was well worth the visit. The best part of the entire trip was the group meal that we had. It was a three course meal that felt like it was for free, because I didn’t have to pay for it right then and there. I have not eaten that much in a very long time and it was a beautiful thing.
This was my first IES sponsored trip and I would highly recommend it for those that like a schedule, and don’t mind other people in control. We had some free time, but I know some people like to travel a bit more leisurely. I personally think it is really nice to have someone else lead me around and explain the history behind everything. It makes me less stressed that way.
On a total tangent, I wanted to address London fashion in relation to what I packed for myself. This advice might be slightly less applicable to direct enrollment students, but the advice I read about packing to go abroad inspired me to pack way too formally. I brought more blazers than sweatshirts- why would anyone ever do that?! Because we are all Americans going to school in the IES Center, most of us dress pretty much how we would at home. No sweatpants or pajama pants maybe, but leggings, jeans, T-shirts. I had this idea of everyone being very fashionable here in London, and most people are, but like with any city, anything goes. Backpacks are totally fine as well, I would just recommend having a little lock to put on your valuables, just in case. So, my advice would be to bring what you actually usually wear. I brought a bunch a plain shirts and scarves to dress them up. It has been working out pretty well for me. But I would have brought more sweatshirts. And less blazers.
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<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’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>