My summer exploring London

Hi! My name is Danielle Luing, Syracuse University Class of 2025, and I am currently a double major in Marketing and Finance with a minor in Sociology. So, study abroad- woo! I chose my specific program because I applied in December of my freshman year. I was, and still am, so young, but wanted to be able to get a head start on my Whitman abroad requirement. I also wanted to be able to get a feel for studying abroad early on in my time at SU, so I could decide if I wanted to go for a whole semester. I chose to apply to the London program as it was important to me to go to a country that primarily spoke English as its primary language since I have Celiac Disease and wanted to be able to communicate with people so I would not get sick from what I was eating.

danielle in london

The course I took was “Business of Nightlife in London”. This has been my favorite course as well as favorite professor I have had during my time here at SU. The professors and staff are so personable and really get to know you so well, in London, since there are not that many students there during each specific block. This really helped me feel more comfortable being in a new country, as I knew I had people who cared about me at the Syracuse London Center. My class really helped integrate me into the new area I was in, since multiple assignments required us to go to London nightlife events and write reflections/study the dynamic of the event. My professor was quite knowledgeable about the subject as he was a club promoter, so he truly knew the industry better as he directly worked with it in the past. This class also allowed for us students to be involved in extracurricular activities, as my professor set up private events for us to go to outside of class- one being a lesson on the art of being a DJ and matching beats.

One of the highlights of my trip was the Syracuse sponsored trip to Oxford. It was one of my favorite experiences during my time in London as I believe it really allowed the group to bond. Not everyone in Block 2 went on this trip, so having a smaller number of people really allowed us to connect. From time spent on the bus, to all living on the same floor at the hotel, to the tours of Oxford where we got to interact with one another, it truly brought us all closer and made us a little Syracuse London family. The school-sponsored trips are truly so worth it, and I would highly recommend taking advantage of everything they plan as they are the experts on that country and will allow you to explore without having to plan everything.

I lived in a four person flat which was about ten minutes away from Faraday House. The housing accommodations Syracuse chooses are better than one would think. At least for me, in London, I felt very safe in the area I stayed in, as it was a community of college students, some being from Syracuse and others from different schools. My roommate and I were able to have our own bathroom, and then my other two housemates had their own bathroom, which was very nice. The kitchen was also a fully functioning kitchen, which made it easy to try to budget and allowed us to cook for ourselves instead of eating out for every meal. I feel like when I look back at the slideshows presented to us at our London meetings, I was worried about how small the flats would be, and we were warned that this was a city and the living quarters were going to be smaller than usual. I was greatly surprised when my double room was actually bigger than my room at Syracuse University, and the bathroom was bigger than the pods I was used to in the dorms. Overall, much better than I anticipated, and nothing to be stressed about before going. New housing options available as of fall 2022.

danielle and friends in london

Studying abroad truly changed my perspective on the world, and made me realize that I do not want to solely live in the U.S. after I graduate. It made me start to think about jobs that would give me the opportunity to live in London, and look into graduate programs that would allow me to take classes in a different country than I am right now. I plan to travel more in the future, as I feel more confident knowing that I was able to adjust once to a totally new country and culture and feel more comfortable doing that again. I’ve learned to be more confident in myself and what I can do, since I never thought I would have the courage to go to a whole new country alone, and end up thriving.

Danielle Luing ‘25

Syracuse London

Living and Learning in London

Ezra in LondonHi! My name is Ezra James Capiral, and I studied abroad in London during the Spring 2020 semester. I’m a Television, Radio & Film major and will be graduating in Spring 2021. My time abroad was nothing short of life-changing. I seriously cannot think of another adjective to describe it, because that word so accurately describes my experience. Even though I was only abroad for a couple of weeks, and was cut short due to the virus outbreak, I made the most of my time abroad and do not regret the time I chose to do so.

What led me to apply for the London program specifically was an utter fascination and curiosity about British culture. I knew language wouldn’t be a barrier, so I took comfort in that fact. However, I knew that living in a different country for an extended amount of time, being that I’ve never left the US in my 20 years of life, would prove some sort of challenge.

Living on my own with no meal plan meant having to buy my own groceries and cook for myself, which in turn would also save money since eating out every day would not be within my budget. Taking public transportation every day to get to class and simply get around London was something I had to learn as well but after only a week or so, the Tube proved very easy to navigate.

Finding the time to incorporate my studies while also having the opportunity to explore the city was also a challenge, as sometimes you can let your excitement get the better of you and cause you to prioritize differently. As I overcame each of these small obstacles, I found myself to feel more comfortable in the new environment, which in turn helped me manage my time better and maximize the productivity of my days. With more free time, I took advantage of the fact that travel to other countries from London would be cheaper than it would be from the US. That took me to Gothenburg, Sweden, for a weekend, where I got to eat plenty of fresh seafood, visit art and history museums, and ride an electric scooter for the very first time! Back in London, I would frequent the V&A museum, various food stops (mostly hot pot), and my favorite, Hyde Park, only a 20-minute walk from my flat.

In terms of academics, I can definitely say I was the most invested in my classes abroad than I have been throughout my time at SU. What I enjoyed most about my course schedule is the fact that at least half of the classes require you to venture outside the classroom, thus allowing learning through cultural immersion and exploration. While some of these field trips were led by the professor, a lot of them actually required you to travel on your own time, gather the information that you learn, and then report to the classroom the next day about your findings. Each day, and each week, I was constantly inspired by the academic material, and how interactive learning was highly encouraged through personal exploration and engaging conversations inside and outside the classroom.

In the future, I definitely plan on going back to London, as well as visit other places within the UK that I was not able to explore yet. There is always so much more to learn and discover, and I cannot wait for what my next adventure has in store for me!

Ezra James Capiral ’21

Syracuse London

Newhouse, TRF