FC: University of Florida in London Summer 2011 Emily Roberts
1: Our journey in London began mid-May. when we finally arrived we were tired, anxious, and filled with excitement. None of us truly knew what to expect. Would we be able to handle the overcast weather? Would we bond with our roommates? Would we finally learn how to cook now that food was incredibly expensive? Would our internships point us in the right direction for a future career path? All initial thoughts disappeared once we discovered that we were on the top floor of our flat and the immediate question became “how on earth will we lug our 50 pound suitcases up 97 stairs?”
3: Our first week in London was filled with guided tours and exploration by foot and tube. Many of us learned our way around the city by perfecting the art of “random tube stopping.” My favorite London landmark will always be Big Ben. The entire summer I could not pass by it without taking a photograph. I quickly bonded with my fellow gators, especially Rachel and Kirsten.
4: Ice cream in the park quickly became a tradition... | One of my favorite memories was exploring Regent's park with Julie, Rachel, and Kirsten
5: Portabello market in Notting Hill was always good for a fresh lunch or antique jewlery shopping. One weekend we all walked away with matching jackets...
6: Tea at Tate Modern
7: Stonehenge and the Roman Baths
8: Edinburgh, Scotland | Julie, Rachel, Kirsten, and I traveled to Edinburgh for our first free weekend. While the weather was almost as foggy as London, we did enjoy discovering Harry Potter sites throughoug the city such as the Edinburgh castle, the Elephant House Cafe, and a gravestone for McGonagall. The men dressed in kilts playing the bag pipes added a little something special too.
9: Queen Elizabeth's Birthday
10: The initial fear of traveling into the unknown quickly disappears into the excitement of exploring a new city. No, Geneva was not quite the Swiss Alps full of cows and snow topped mountains I was expecting, but it offered beauty I had not anticipated. I was more than satisfied eating chocolate fondue and trying out my new Swiss army knife. Rachel and I were content walking and taking photos. The botanical gardens were a hidden surprise. Imagine our excitement when we found peacocks! As we walked along the water I found my soul filled with joy, energy, and warmth. “This is happiness,” I thought to myself. | Geneva, Switzerland
11: "When a man is tired of London, he is tired of life" - Samuel Johnson
12: Ben's Cookies. Best. Cookies. Ever.
13: Independence was a quality I found (and embraced) while studying in London. I spent hours in Kew Gardens, wandering through roses, sunflowers, and lily ponds by myself. It was a treasure to enjoy nature and remove myself from the hustle and bustle of the city. I enjoyed the time collecting my thoughts throughout the day.
14: Welcome to Amsterdam! In three days we conquored the city by foot, bike, and canal boat. I even enjoyed a lunch under a windmill!
15: Ahh...Paris, the city of love! I certainly fell in love with the architecture, the Eiffel Tower, the catherdrals, the gardens, and the food! I couldn't resist the pastires, crepes, or croissants. Walking along the Seine at night was a hilight as well as seeing world famous art. The whole weekend was simply magical.
16: Internship at Gift-Library.com My heart pounded through my chest as I made my way to Gift-Library.com for the first day of my internship. Within fifteen minutes I was already photographing designer purses, cufflinks, frames, and candles. The FIE team did a wonderful job finding an internship that fit every students interests or studies. By the end of my six weeks I had gained insight into a smaller business and had learned to apply my classroom lessons into real business practice.
19: Adventure Weekend in Wales None of us knew quite what to expect from our adventure weekend in Wales but I think we all agreed that our expectations were blown out of the water. Our days were filled with kayacking, hiking, coasteering (a combination of spelunking & swimming), and phenominal home cooked food. We even saw a seal in the water! It was an incredible weekend.