UTK students spend summer in London
TNJN/Balogun, Rilwan
Big Ben overlooks Westminister every day as people flood the streets during rush hour.
published: June 24 2013 05:04 PM updated:: June 24 2013 05:18 PM

With more than 30.6 million international visitors in 2011, London is one of the world’s leading tourism destinations. Of these 30.6 million visitors, 70,000 were international students studying in London during that year, according to the Office for National Statistics. Millions of other non-student visitors come to London annually to submerge themselves in the culture and history that the city holds.

Meghan Lobdell, program services coordinator for CAPA International Education, said she believes one of the reasons Americans choose London is for its history.

“We as Americans feel ties to the culture and people because so much of our history is built here with what happened centuries ago,” said Lobdell, a graduate from the University of Delaware. “It ties us to the crown.”

For more than 40 years, CAPA International Education has linked and coordinated faculty-led study abroad programs to Beijing, Buenos Aires, Dublin, Florence, Istanbul, Shanghai, Sydney and London. While in London, there are multiple ways for students to study. Semester abroad programs, faculty-led study abroad and internships are also provided with arrangements made with a United Kingdom employer and a home university.

The University of Tennessee offers several study abroad options that range from Buenos Aires, Argentina to Istanbul, Turkey and everywhere in between.

Some UT students decided to study in London instead of elsewhere because of its English-speaking population and because London is one of the biggest cities with growing opportunities. Catherine Johnson, a junior in public relations, chose to study in London instead of taking the Italy trip, which is geared toward public relations majors.

“I want to graduate with a diverse background; I’ve taken advertising, journalism and public relation courses,” Johnson said. “I felt that coming on this trip would add to my resume that I studied journalism in London.”

London is also one of the most expensive cities in the world with one British pound equivalent to $1.57 in US Dollars. Despite these expenses, students still frequently choose London as a study abroad destination.

Twenty-four-year-old Sofia Lammi from Finland decided to move to London on a whim. Lammi applied for the University in London never thinking anything of it until she got accepted.

“When I got the acceptance letter, I was happy and proud and didn’t have to think about it for longer than a few days,” Lammi said. She attends London Metropolitan University where she studies fashion. Lammi has been living in London for two years and says she enjoys the fast pace city life.

During the 2012 Olympics, London visitors dropped five percent “due to fears of overcrowding to the Games and the unseasonal wet weather,” according to the Office for National Statistics. However, the ending of the Olympic Games was accompanied by a rise in tourism once more.

“Britain became a much more attractive place to visit because of the [Olympic] Games,” said Christopher Rodrigues of Visit Britain website. After watching the Olympics and seeing the unique country, Rodrigues said travelers are more inclined to choose London as their next vacation spot.

“London is one of the most vibrant, exciting, culturally rich and cosmopolitan cities in the world,” said Claire Kibblewhite, resident director for CAPA.

Kibblewhite said that London is not a place that can be experienced in a matter of days.

“London is not a city to be ‘checked off’ a list,” Kibblewhite said. “It is not a city which you can 'do' in a day, a week, a fortnight, a month or even a semester. Many would argue that you can never truly know London - even true Londoners like myself continue to be enchanted by everything the city has to offer.”

Editor: Jennifer Brake

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Story Images Thousands of people visit Leicester Square, the Time Square of London, each year.
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