From St Cloud, Minnesota to Alnwick, 35 university students now call England their home away from home.
Each new school semester brings a new group of students eager to live and learn at Alnwick Castle. However, the St Cloud State University (SCSU) students also spend a great deal of time traveling the country beyond Alnwick’s borders.
During the first week of March, St Cloud State ventured south to London. For more than half of the students it was their first visit to the famous city.
Film studies student Riley Price enjoyed her first trip to London by taking in the beauty of the city and sampling new foods.
“I had an amazing time and London is beautiful. I ate at Chinatown two nights in a row and I ate fish and chips at an Irish pub,” Price said.
Trying fish and chips in the United Kingdom was on Price’s bucket list. So far she has succeeded in tasting the dish in England, Ireland and Scotland.
“The fish and chips in London didn’t really differ from in Alnwick, it’s good in both places. The best fish and chips I’ve had was in Glasgow, so it doesn’t compare to that.”
Price grew up in St Paul, Minnesota, and is used to the hustle and bustle of city life.
She spent her free time reflecting and comparing London to other places she’s visited. “I love Alnwick and its size, but being in a big city was really refreshing. I’ve been to other big cities such as Chicago and San Francisco and felt that London was more spread out. It wasn’t as cramped so I loved it there,” Price added.
Public transportation is important in cities especially if they expand for miles. Traveling from St Cloud where only minimal public transportation is necessary, SCSU junior Blake Boe had to learn the ins and outs of the Tube.
“London public transportation was probably the best in the world. I’ve been to New York City and used the subway there, but I feel that London was much cleaner and better with the Tube,” Boe stated.
“Even when I went to Paris I had to ask people for help on how to use their transportation, but it was so easy to navigate in London I didn’t really have to ask anyone.”
With effective public transportation it’s easy to visit all ends of London, but with so many tourist attractions it’s hard to see them all.
First time London-goer Rachel Knutson said her favorite part of London was the Imperial War Museum. Knowing that both her grandfathers’ fought in the Second World War made the exhibition special to Knutson.
“It was a little bit of home, but I am not missing home,” Knutson reminisced. “The Holocaust exhibit was also special. Seeing the shoes on display was touching.”
New experiences were had and memories made by the St Cloud State University students who went to London. From using the Tube for the first time to learning history at museums, SCSU covered a lot of ground in the big city. As for now, we are all back in Alnwick and awaiting our next adventure in England.