March 16, 2017
Blog By: Stephanie Atallah and Shelby Caulk
Hello from the Kelley Londoners!
Today was an exciting day because we were able to explore the historical Westminster Abbey.
On our way to the Abbey we walked down Whitehall and were able to see the Prime Minister’s home located at 10 Downing Street.
While viewing the PM’s residence, a man recognized our Kelley padfolios and introduced himself as an IU alumnus. Jason Chapman is the Assistant Attaché for the US Secret Service stationed in London. We were able to chat with him for just a few moments as he was on his way to escort the United States’ Secretary of the Treasury to meet with Prime Minister Theresa May.
Once we arrived at the Abbey, we immediately noticed its gothic-style architecture. Not only is it beautiful, but it also holds the remains of some of the most renowned historical figures.
Rebuilt by King Edward the Confessor almost a thousand years ago, the Abbey was once a monastery; however, it now serves as a place of worship and royal celebration, including weddings and coronations.
During our tour of the Abbey, we were able to see the exact spot in the main sanctuary where Sir Elton John played the piano at Lady Diana’s funeral as well as the burial place for Isaac Newton and Charles Darwin. We were also able to visit the tomb of Queen Elizabeth I and her sister Queen Mary as well as Mary Queen of Scots. One of the last stops on our tour was Poets’ Corner which commemorates famous literary figures including William Shakespeare, Jane Austen and Edgar Allen Poe.
During our lunch break, we decided to bask in the London culture by trying traditional British cuisine. We stopped by the Marlborough Head and ordered ourselves Shepherd’s pie and fish and chips. We enjoyed getting to try this new cuisine (even the mushy peas!).
Our final visit of the day was to the US Embassy.
We were lucky to be a part of one of the last visits to the US Embassy at its historical location in Mayfair. The Embassy will soon be moving to a new location in South London.
At the Embassy, our class had the opportunity to speak to three employees: Dan, Dave and Mark. The men spoke to us about their diverse backgrounds, experiences and responsibilities at the Embassy. We learned about how they maintained a work-life balance while overseas as well as the importance the Embassy places on family integration while stationed abroad. The men explained to us that they go through extensive cultural and language training in order to easily acclimate into the foreign culture of their new station.
After our academic studies, we were able to explore London and the famous Abbey Road Studios.
This program has been absolutely amazing and transformational.
We have been able to see the merge of historical London with the modern, cutting-edge business hub that it is known for today.
Through these experiences we have been able to achieve our class’ learning objectives of cultural integration and global business awareness. Although our program is coming to an end, we are excited to make the most of the next few days in this beautiful city.
Shelby and Stephanie