SMU-in-London 2008

This summer 48 SMU students are traveling to London to study communication courses, including international media, free speech, creative advertising, British cinema and the global civil society. Some students also are interning with international human rights organizations, including Amnesty International, Pants to Poverty, and Save the Children, to name a few.

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Home Sweet London

grace.jpgGrace, a senior art history and CCPA major, is working this summer at WOMANKIND Worldwide in the communications and fundraising department. WOMANKIND Worldwide’s Mission is “To enable women in developing countries to voice their concerns and claim their rights, and to work globally for policies and practices which promote gender equality.”

After having been in London for barely even 3 weeks, I am genuinely shocked at the connection I already feel with this city.

My day-to-day activities are perhaps different than a traditional study abroad experience since I am taking part in the CCPA internship program. My routine during the week is generally the same and consists of class, long and hot journeys on the underground, and work for around six hours. (I’ll tell you more about what I am working on in a later blog so stay tuned!)

My routine is so similar to the millions of those who actually do live in London that it makes me feel like this is my city and that I will be here forever. But I have to snap myself out of that because I have only a few precious weeks left that I must make the most of.

Tamara-Leeds.jpgAlready I feel like I have seen and experienced a lot, but I know I have barely scratched the surface of this magnificent city. I have seen the colorful changing of the guard ceremony and the neo-gothic splendor of the Houses of Parliament and Big Ben.

Tamara-Wimbledon.jpgI had the good fortune to make it to Wimbledon’s court number 1 to see USA champions Venus and Serena Williams dominate their doubles match. Not only did I make it to a show court, but also watched Federer and Safin on a practice court where they were so close that I could have reached out and touched them – but that might have gotten me kicked out of Wimbledon.

I have seen Jersey Boys and Wicked, I have walked through the lush gardens of Regents Park and perused the antique stands of Portobello Market.

This weekend I will be going to Scotland and adding on even more to my list of sights seen. But when I return from the weekend jaunt on Sunday, I know I will find myself feeling as though I am coming home. I know that I am American and that I am supposed to lament the fact that there aren’t any Wal-Marts, Targets or air-conditioning.

And it’s true, perhaps they are a bit stingy on the ice and despite the fact that sometimes I cannot understand what they are saying, though they claim to be speaking English, I find the welcoming arms of this cheerful city irresistible – and it already feels like home.

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