My Epic London Spring Break Study Tour

There is so much to take in everywhere you turn.

I’ll admit that I was a little nervous before going on this trip as someone who has never been outside the United States without my parents, or any part of Europe before. But when Spring Break 2017 came, I was ready. When we landed in London, it was already morning. Even though I was really tired and sleepy, I was ready to see what London had to offer.

Westminster Abbey was our first stop. My favorite part of the tour was the usage of the coronation chair, currently displayed in the chapel. The coronation chair was used for securing the famous Stone of Scone. Created for King Edward I, it was traditionally used for coronation ceremonies.

london study tour

After the tour, we arrived at Copthrone Tara Hotel to rest a bit. Later we dined at Blackbird, taking in the city at night which is truly beautiful. I was surprised how bright it was at night, compared to the nighttime life at St. Mary’s College of Maryland. I was amazed and it made me look forward to the next several days in London.

The next day I felt energetic and ready to actually explore around.

We visited the British Library and St. Paul’s Cathedral Church. The British Library has a huge bookshelf for display and several galleries about the histories of celebrities and entertainment. St. Paul’s Cathedral Church was the largest church I have ever been. To get to the top, you need to take the stairs.

london study tour

They have a whispering gallery where you say something and people from the other side can hear you and you can hear them. A friend and I tried it and we both got a response from a little girl. Even if we could not see each other, it was nice to have a friendly conversation with an unknown person. Goes to show how friendly people are in London.

We went to see several plays over the past several days including Kite Runner, Madame Butterfly, Snow in Midsummer, An Inspector Calls, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead (with Daniel Radcliffe), Amadeus, and Hedda Gabler.

london study tour

Snow in Midsummer was my favorite. It is a Chinese play about a woman who was murdered for a crime she did not commit. Her spirit comes back to haunt a little girl three years after the events have been completed for her spirit to come back. I honestly love that they have an all Asian cast as the story originated in China. The story is several centuries old and has been modified many times. The Royal Shakespearean Company did a fantastic job by staying true to the original plot.

london study tour

Besides the British Library and St. Paul’s Cathedral Church, we also visited the British Museum, Tower of London, Blenheim Palace, Victoria and Albert Museum, National Art Gallery Museum, and National Theatre. My favorite was the British Museum. Each section focuses a different history of a country like Greece, China, and more. It was really organized and not confusing at all. My favorite section was Ancient Egypt because they have a few actual mummies and artifacts they kept, like the sharp spoons.

The things that fascinate me about London is that I get to learn new material every day, whether it is from museums, sites, plays, or people.

Reflecting back on the entire trip on my last day, I realized how diverse London was. London incorporated cultures from China, Japan, France, India, Korea, Mexico, Canada, and many others into their entertainment, museums, sites, stores, products, and restaurants. I noticed there were many people from different countries who visited London for its beautiful sites.

london study tour

London incorporating other cultures to their own culture can make some tourists feel like they are home. The different communities I encountered are what make London the way it is today. At first, I thought London was only known for its shows and famous buildings. After going there for 10 days, I realized it was so much more.


Valerie is a senior Public Policy Major at St. Mary's College of Maryland....