UNO Students Visit London
A group of UNO students traveled across seas, on a two-week journey to experience London.
Published: Thursday, August 29, 2013
Updated: Thursday, August 29, 2013 15:08
Twelve students enrolled in International Communication for the spring 2013 semester. While the lectures and projects during the course inspired a global outlook, it was the two-week field trip to London that unified the class.
The University of Nebraska at Omaha has sent students to London annually for over a decade. Accompanied by Criminal Justice, Art History and Political Science professors and students, I started my summer with the adventure of a lifetime. Just days after completing final exams, I boarded a plane and crossed the Atlantic Ocean.
Day one on English soil, we traveled west of London to Windsor, an official residence of the Queen of England. A ten-minute walk from the castle and I was standing in front of Eton College, the high school Prince William and Prince Harry attended. As a fond admirer of the royal family, I was already on cloud nine.
After lugging suitcases into our hotel in central London, our professor, Dr. Chris Allen, recommended a boat pub on the River Thames. In his directions, he failed to mention the view from the pub would hold two of the most iconic locations in London.
Senior Katy Schulz said that particular view is the first place she would go if she could travel to London again.
“When you ride the tube to the Westminster station and exit to the south, you stand right beneath Big Ben,” Schulz said. “It one of the most beautiful things I have ever seen.”
As if that sight wasn’t enough to remind us of the reality that we were in London, to the left of us was the London Eye Ferris wheel. We walked aboard the pub and took in the surreal view. Needless to say, it was an excellent start to the trip.
Throw in a trip to the birthplace of William Shakespeare in Stratford upon Avon and a stroll through Oxford University the next day, and we were on a roll.
Throughout the two weeks, Dr. Allen led us on several mini-field trips around London to businesses related to international communication. Seniors Christine Dunn and Justin Baker agree these were essential to making the trip impactful.
“They were wonderful tours, companies and people. I learned that there are even more opportunities in my field of interest that aren't offered in the States.” Dunn recalled.
Baker added, “What I learned there will be immeasurable to my news career in a world that is becoming increasingly global.”
Just a few highlights included walking through the newsroom at The Telegraph headquarters, seeing graphic designers work on a current U.K. subway print ad at McCann advertising agency and discussing the world of public relations at Weber-Shandwick.
When we weren’t conversing with business professionals, we had freedom to explore the city. My free time was when I really felt like I was getting a true study abroad experience.
From our hotel, we were walking distance from the Russell Square Station, Starbucks and local convenience store chains. Before we knew it, riding the subway, coined “the tube,” was second nature.
I could ride the tube like the locals, and still embrace the tourist attractions. Whether I was crossing Abbey Road or viewing the Crown Jewels at the Tower of London, every minute was a new memory to last me a lifetime.
The idea of studying abroad for a semester or year was not my cup of tea, but two weeks in London was perfect on every level. This is just one of the hundreds of opportunities available to UNO students. In addition to graduating, studying abroad should be on every student’s to-do list.