8 Things You Learn From Staying in London

1. There is no such thing as personal space.

A thing I noticed while in London is that people don’t really have their own space bubble. Most places you go such as the tube you will be crammed close to people not caring about your personal space.

2. Beauty is everywhere.

Literally everywhere you look there is beauty. Whether it be a park or a part of history, every single thing in London is beautiful. 

4. Restaurants work a bit different.

Almost every restaurant we went to while in London had a bar inside it. Now we didn’t know at first but quickly found out that you order not only drinks from the bars but also your meals. You go up to the bar and order and pay for your food there and then they bring it out to your table. I think this is a cool way but personally I like being lazy and having the waiter/waitress come to me. 

5. People get drinks after work.

One thing I loved about the London social scene was that people go out with friends to grab a drink after work. People will be outside all pubs enjoying a beer almost everyday around the 5pm. I think we should bring this norm to America personally. 

6. It’s more expensive.

London is a very expensive town and we knew this before going but it really doesn’t hit until your paying $14 American dollars for a meal that seems cheap in pounds. The conversion rates reall get ya. But honestly every extra dollar is worth it because I mean you’re in London! 

7. Water.

Water is very different in the UK. A popular thing is sparkling water. At restaurants you have to ask specifically for tap or still water if you want it, and most of the time they will look at you like you’re crazy. Also if you want ice be sure to ask for it because most places don’t give you ice in your water!

8.  Museums and Churches.

In London it’s kind of funny because you pay to see the churches but most museums are free to enter. That’s almost completely opposite from America. However, paying entry for those churches are 100% worth it. 

Although many of these things are different, they are all the small parts that add to your trip. London was amazing and I can’t wait to go back! 

Life in London


London life was an experience that altered the way I view world and even the littlest things. The different things I learned on such a wide spectrum is what I will take away the most. In some of the most centralized places you can learn about the history of a place and how it impacted London and at the same time have a street performer in the background, or a group of tourist taken a selfie. I was able to get out of the big city and travel to Hampton Courts and Brighton Beach and experience a slower paste of the British life.

A few of the life lessons I learned: 1- The people make the trip. I could not have asked for a better group of people to travel abroad with. 2-  Trying public transportation for the first time in another country isn’t as intimidating as one would think. 3-  Although London was not a huge culture shock seeing all of the hospitality and acceptance London had to offer was inspirational.

Mollie Ponds

What’s a Future English Teacher Got to Say about London? — Site Title

Greetings! My name is Nick Clohecy, and I’m a senior Secondary [English] Education major at ESU. I’ll be entering Phase II this fall, and then I’ll be returning to ESU in the spring of 2018 to pursue an MA in English! The short answer to the above question: a lot. But—too bad for you—I’m also going […]

via What’s a Future English Teacher Got to Say about London? — Site Title

Unplanned Adventuring

          Hi, my name is Emma Dixon and I’m a sophomore Accounting major here at ESU. Before I begin, there is one thing you should know about me; I am a planner. I hate feeling incompetent or unprepared which leads me to make rather detailed plans for just about everything. So naturally, when I first signed up for a study abroad trip to London, I immediately began planning out every little thing I would do while I was there. I had a rather long list of all the things I had to see including Westminster Abbey, Big Ben, Shakespeare’s Globe, St. Paul’s Cathedral, Tower of London, and so on.  While I saw and did most of these things, looking back on my trip I realized that some of my favorite moments were things that could never have been planned. Allow me to explain.

          Getting lost in a big unfamiliar city isn’t something I would ever plan out or typically suggest, but, I discovered that when you have excellent company and plenty of daylight, getting lost can be rather fun. On our third day in London, friend and I were headed to the Tate Modern and being now fairly confident in our navigational skills of the city failed to consult a map for directions. For this reason, we managed to botch what should have been excruciatingly easy directions and wound up walking several miles out of our way in every direction except the correct one. Eventually, although we were too stubborn to concede defeat and just take the Underground back to our original location, we finally admitted that we should be looking at a map instead of trusting our obviously askew directional skills. However, this stubbornness allowed us to walk through a portion of London that we would have never explored and discover old buildings and monuments we didn’t know existed (we even found the famed Diagon Alley!)

Leadenhall Market (aka Diagon Alley)

          That coupled with the great time spent with my friend made turned an ordinary Friday evening into a splendid adventure that I could have never planned.

           Another unplanned adventure I had while in London was Regent’s Park. Originally, I had no intention of visiting any park. During my early planning, I was set on doing as many sightseeing, touristy things as possible and a park just didn’t seem to fit the bill. However, after touring the historic Tower of London, I was convinced by a few friends to join them in their trip to Regent’s Park. It was one of the best decisions I made that entire trip. Stepping into Regent’s Park was like stepping into a world without time or worry. Entering this park after the being in the fast-paced, crowded environment of the city reminded me of a video finally being played at the correct speed when you originally tried to watch it in fast-forward. With its rolling green hills, shaded walkways, and beautiful gardens, Regent’s Park was calming and peaceful. Around me, people sat on benches or stretched out on the lawn breathing in the perfume of flowers and drinking in the beauty of the open and spacious atmosphere. There was a wonderful serenity about the place that invited introspection and a sort of pensive happiness. Without my friends’ encouragement, I never would have visited Regent’s Park yet somehow this unplanned detour became my favorite place in London.


          Now these are only a few of the many times unplanned adventures occurred over our stay in London not to mention the fantastic times I spent in Bath and Oxford with friends and no real plans. This trip has helped me realize that although planning can be helpful, I shouldn’t live my life locked into my detailed plans. Escaping life’s routines and plans every now and then, could lead to most of the most memorable moments of your life. So it’s my hope and prayer that you and I, whether we are traveling abroad or staying home, remember to ignore our premediated ideas every so often and enjoy an unplanned escapade.

Wishing you all grand adventures,

Emma Dixon =)

Living in London

Hello ESU Hornets Abroad readers! I am Cassidy Tilden, and I am in the middle of my first week of study abroad in London! I’ll be here for a grand total of six weeks, and I am studying at King’s College London. For the first three weeks I’ll be taking a class in young adult British literature, and in the second three weeks I will be taking a theater in London class. Based off of those two things, you can safely assume that I am an English and Theater major.

I arrived in London about a week ago with my mom and brother, and we crammed a lot of sight seeing into the two days we had together before I left them. We did the classic things such as seeing Big Ben, Westminster Abbey, St. Paul’s cathedral, Victoria and Albert, and so on. The one place we went to in those first few days, however, that really evoked emotion to me was Shakespeare’s Globe.

Hey, this is me in front of the Globe, eating a Shakespeare shaped cookie.

Those who know me know that William Shakespeare is a great inspiration to me. I have read 16 of his 38 plays (which includes some histories, and I think that’s pretty impressive for a senior in college) and plan on reading them all some day (I don’t have a set day to have them read by, just at my leisure). But the Globe was beautiful, and I have tickets purchased to see my favorite comedy, Much Ado About Nothing, in a couple of weeks, so I’m extremely excited about that.

I’m studying through ISA, and I love all the people who are studying here with me. They are all a blast, and genuinely kind. On our first night together, my flatmates and I set out to attempt to find something to eat. We all wanted to have some traditional pub food, but we learned that food isn’t typically served at pubs on Saturdays, so we wandered a bit more through Southwark, and found the cutest little food truck/stand area.

We all went on a double decker bus tour of London (super tourist-y, I know) that lasted about two hours, and it was actually pretty nice. I saw parts of London I hadn’t gotten to see yet, and found things that I meant to find at some point. We saw the Crown Jewels at the Tower of London, and there were these huge ravens everywhere. I’ve never seen a bird that big – they were actually a bit scary.

John Boyega, who also appears as FN-2187, or Finn, in The Force Awakens portrayed the title role of Frank Woyzeck, and it was astonishing to watch – some of the best acting and technical theater I’ve seen.

As a theater major living in a very theater-active city, I believe it is important to take advantage of seeing as much theater as possible while being here. I have seen three shows now (The Book of Mormon, Woyzeck, and The Wind in the Willows) and I have planned out all the shows I want to see for the rest of my time here – unless another creeps up on me, then I’ll add it to my list. I have arranged it, as well, so that I can see at least one show per week.

So far my time here has been amazing, and I cannot wait to see where the rest of this journey will take me.

Cassidy Tilden

P.S. Catch me on July 1st on ESU’s Snapchat! I’ll be taking over to share my trip to Brighton!

P.P.S. If you want a more detailed outline of my time in Europe, check out my personal blog: https://travelwithcass.wordpress.com/


Open to Interpretation

One of the highlights of my study abroad experience in London, UK that I have been anticipating since Dr. Storm told us to book our tickets, was the chance to see a Shakespeare play at the Globe Theatre. I kept thinking, “How wonderful it will be for an English major to be in one of the most iconic theatres in history.” With this summer being the “Summer of Love” for the theatre, multiple romances would be performed; during our week in London, we were able to experience the classic Romeo and Juliet. Standing for three hours in the yard, I thought, would be more than worth it, even with stiff legs. I was more than ecstatic to be able to be in the theatre that I have learned about in my Shakespeare class and have seen in video clips.

Though I thought I learned enough about the Globe to prepare me for the performance I was going to witness, I was taken back by many elements of this version of Romeo and Juliet. All of the clips shown in my Shakespeare class were of classic performances; the costumes, the language, setting, etc. kept true to Shakespeare’s script, and what one would expect to see at the Globe. The Globe had recently hired a new director that put a modern spin on the classic play we know and love.

The characters were dressed in mostly black outfits, and their makeup consisted of mostly a white-out face with dramatic eye shadows, lipsticks, etc.; almost clown-like, except for Romeo and Juliet: their makeup resembled skulls.  From the beginning with the prologue it felt as if it were to be a more eerie, dark performance than one would expect. A chorus was added to the play, which is not featured in the original script. They danced provocatively to modern music throughout the beginning, and during the masquerade party, which the director visioned instead a modern costume party. 

At this point in the show, I was feeling, though I didn’t want to, disappointed. This was one of my goals as a traveler I wanted to experience, and it was not what I was expecting at all. When the balcony scene came along, it gave me more hope for the rest of the show. It was funny, witty, and revealed aspects of the characters that I had never thought they would possess. The way Juliet delivered her lines really did make her appear that she was thirteen years old, and the play overall displayed how immature the relationship between Romeo and Juliet actually was. 

The second act, just as eccentric as the first, brought me to tears despite how ridiculous Romeo and Juliet’s plan was to be together after meeting about four days before. The emotion portrayed by the Montagues and the Capulets after the “deaths” of their children was quite chilling and overwhelming. I began to reflect on how it must feel for a family to lose their own child, which at that point made my tears seem hysterical. As Romeo and Juliet lie in the tomb together, the chorus began to sing in harmony together as the couple was put to rest. I did not expect to feel such emotions when the performance began and my disappointment vanished altogether. 

It occurred to me that I had too many expectations for this performance: I wanted it to be like what I’ve seen on YouTube and what it might have been like in Shakespeare’s day. Reflecting on this modern interpretation, I simply had to remember that it was an interpretation. Many of Shakespeare’s plays have been turned into modern movies, such as the movie “She’s the Man”, which is based off of Twelfth Night. As mentioned before, this modern interpretation of Romeo and Juliet brought things to my attention that other interpretations, and even the script, cannot fully display unless it is performed in a certain way; the immaturity of the relationship, how young the characters actually are, despite their attempt to seem older and mature because of their love for each other.

Even the costuming and makeup seemed to have a symbolic significance. The choice to wear all black instead of traditional costume brought the presence of death and love fading to the surface. The makeup, which was clown-like for most, symbolized the adults’ immaturity and foolishness for their hatred toward each other. Romeo and Juliet’s skull makeup represented their young death. 

Overall, I enjoyed this performance. I enjoyed being in the theatre itself and experiencing the culture that it has brought and maintained. I loved being at this beautiful, unique theatre with friends I have made on my study abroad experience, which is something that I valued most of all on this excursion to the Globe. One thing that I remembered in my theatre appreciation class was to suspend all judgment of the performance, which I failed to do at the beginning. My advice for attending the Globe, or any theatre and performance at that, is to simply enjoy it. Enjoy and appreciate the play, the actors, the theatre, and the people around you. 


Alyssa Wistuba

Reflections on London from my kitchen table.

We’ve been home from London for about a week and a half now. Jet lag has worn off, people have tired of asking me “how was your trip?” at every turn, and my copious amounts of laundry have (more or less) been returned to the closet. After only eight days in a foreign country, a trip like this has the incredible ability to change you, if you let it. So how do we return to our normal routine without letting our trip turn to just photo-gloss memories in a dusty scrapbook?

Ah, but where are my manners? My name is Audrey Desrosiers and I am a junior English Education major at Emporia State University. I’ve travelled quite a bit in my twenty years of life, both domestically and abroad- an experience for which I am forever grateful. But it always seems to come to this- what are you going to remember from this trip that has affected your life? How will you let the experience of another culture- breathing new air, learning to change trains like a pro, digging in to whatever food you can find- change you?

From my experience, I’ve found a couple of ideas that might help you to hang on to the life-altering adventure of travel that I’d like to share with you, if I may. First, learn to share your story in a way that others want to hear. A friend once told me that when someone asks you how your trip was, you need to have three versions of your tale. First, the fifteen-second, “here are my three favorite things and I had a great time” version for those people you just know casually. Then, the two- to five- minute “I want to know most of the highlights but I don’t want to stand here till my feet get tired” version. And finally, the “let me buy you a cup of coffee and bring a projector because I want to see all nine million of your pictures” version. I think realizing how much of your story to share with people helps to keep the experience fresh for those people who really want to know EVERYTHING. (And by everything, I mean down to your awkward food selfies and the fact that you got lost in the city and walked twelve miles because you’re stubborn…)

…both of which I have unashamedly partaken in.

The second thing that I think can help you maintain the magic of a trip long afterward is to do a little something I call identifying your “happy place”. It sounds lame, but please bear with me. When someone asks me about the trips I took several years ago, I immediately think of one specific location that I loved most- somewhere that I was able to find peace in the chaos of travel, or a moment that truly defined the trip for me. After a few years, the details will fade- you may not remember the taste of fresh evening air off the river or the name your favorite dish at that pub on the corner, but you’ll remember that one place- perhaps you even have a picture of it- that made you feel simply, inexplicably alive. For this trip, mine actually wasn’t in London, and I’ll tell you why.

One day during our stay in London, a dear friend and I hit Paddington Station (ridiculously early in the morning, which just added to the adventure) and took the train to Bath, nearly two hours from London. Technically, our purpose was to do research for her project, which was on Jane Austen. We ended up doing lots of accidental exploring- visited the stunning Roman Baths, explored the Jane Austen Centre, had tea with Mr. Darcy (every girl’s dream, right?) then just walked through parts of the city. The day was a wonderful break from the fast pace of the city and a great time of building a new friendship – a day that was truly good for the soul.

I took a picture of Emma taking a picture at the Roman Baths… and yep, that’s me loving the British tea.

So… in the midst of this beautiful, ancient city, with the rain bouncing off the pavement every time we walked outside, I found my place. Toward the end of the day, we took a walk along the river Avon and sat on a bench, looking up at the stunning city bridge and buildings. Never in our whole trip had I felt so utterly at peace, so completely rested and free and adventurous all at once.IMG_1627

So, my fellow travelers, I hope you learn to tell your story. I hope you find your “place”. I hope that you will let your adventures soak so deeply into you that they alter you- that you leave a part of yourself and gain a fragment of the place you left. And I hope that, sooner rather than later, you can agree with Bilbo Baggins when he said, “I think I’m quite ready for another adventure.”


Audrey Desrosiers

The London Lifestyle

As I have been adjusting to coming home, I have realized many things that I truly love about the way London is. How the people there live. The way they go about their days. The vibe through out the city. I fell in love.

First off, many people in London go about their day, they don’t stop and stare at others, everyone wears what they want, acts how they want, and portrays themselves in their own unique way — no one judges or cares. Everyone there seemed to be very comfortable in their own skin and confident in who they are. They are  very mindful of what they put into their bodies and how they take care of them as well.

Which leads me to something I hold dear to my heart, fitness and diet: everywhere I looked I saw someone running, walking, doing yoga, or engaged in some type of physical activity. It was part of the culture. Along with fitness, I am very passionate about diet. I prefer a fresh, healthy diet with greens, protein, and fruits. There was no shortage of these elements over in London — healthy eating was made accessible almost everywhere. I had no problem finding healthy choices, even with a short time frame. Fast food was still healthy as well!

In addition to fitness, many individuals went to the park to walk their dog, do yoga, jog, participate in crossfit or group workouts. There were also people just relaxing in the park, taking in the fresh air, taking a break from their day, taking time to visit with friends and drink a coffee. The parks were packed! LOVED THIS — it was a combination of most of my favorite things and I wish we used the parks here in America for these purposes and used them often. There were many days when a group of us would go sit in the park and take on the culture: be one with the city of London.


Lastly, I fell in love with London because of the architecture and history of the city. There was something interesting and beautiful on every corner. Each building holds stories of centuries of usage, the architecture jumps out at you and is detailed to the extreme. I was never bored of finding new buildings to snap a picture of!

Coming home was great, but I definitely miss the beautiful city that has a place in my heart!

Amy Ruschen


Dinos, Dodos, and more oh my!! By Elizabeth Oliver

There are many museums to explore in London. But, there were two I knew I had to visit while I was there. They were the Natural History Museum and the Victoria & Albert Museum.  At 136 years of age, the Natural History Museum contains an array of collections that include minerals, birds, mammals, and dinosaurs. I was attracted by the dinosaurs and they did not disappoint. I grew up with Jurassic Park and I knew I had to go and see these colossal creatures. The dinosaur exhibit had two moving dinosaurs, several  dinosaur skeletons, and dinosaur tracks.


dinosaur track
Dinosaur tracks above, to the top right a skeleton of an Iguanodon, and in the bottom right is a moving exhibit of Deinonychus dinosaurs.


moving exhibit of Deinonychus

On my way out of the Natural History Museum, I visited the bird area and had the opportunity to see a dodo.dodo 1

My next stop was the Victoria and Albert Museum. This museum’s collections include furniture, clothes, paintings, silverware, and jewelry.  One of the most interesting exhibits is the cast courts. These cast courts are copies of famous works including Michelangelo. baby grand.JPG

cast of Michelangelo


London and surrounding areas in 8 days by Elizabeth Oliver

tower bridge.JPGOne of the best decisions I made was to do a short term study abroad. It was a decision that I made hesitantly. I only regret two things. First, not studying abroad sooner and second choosing a short term study abroad. In the end, I know that a short term study abroad experience was what was best for me. There are so many things to see and do in London and the surrounding areas that one can be continually busy.

My sister created a video by combining photos and videos that I took while in England. Highlights include trips on the subway, Tower of London, Hampton Court, Globe, Stratford- upon- Avon, Bath, Stonehenge, Ashmolean Museum (Oxford), Warwick Castle, Victoria & Albert Museum, Natural History Museum, Calvary Museum, Royal Mews, Buckingham Palace, Queen’s Gallery, Winston Churchill War Museum, Tower Bridge, and other places. It also includes photos from a cooking class that I took.

This video was made with youtube, and Imovie. The music is used under a creative commons license from http://www.bensound.com and is titled cute.