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St. Paul's Cathedral in London from below.

At Dartmouth, what distinguishes Foreign Study Abroad programs from regular exchanges are, among other things, a Dartmouth professor who traveling with you, traveling with a larger group of Dartmouth students, and you receiving more support in general. A part of our program included excursions we went on as a Dartmouth cohort. I wrote about our Bath trip in one of my previous blog posts; since then, the group also went on excursions to Kent, Charleston, and Stonehenge, which, sadly, I could not attend due to my class schedule. During their Kent visit, they see Monk's House, Virginia Woolf's house with her husband, and Knole, which is the setting for Woolf's extraordinary novel Orlando. I could attend some of the short excursions, here are a few of them!

Thanksgiving Dinner

I do not celebrate Thanksgiving because I did not grow up in America, but I could not pass on this opportunity to have a lovely, catered dinner with our group. We had dinner at e5 Bakehouse in Hackney Wick; and not to mention, the venue was open for our group only with a special menu. Beyond the great food, I had a great time listening to what my fellow cohort members were up to in London.

Henrik Ibsen's Ghosts

During our final week, we also went to see Henrik Ibsen's Ghosts at the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse, the indoor theater at Shakespeare's Globe. The play was unlike anything I have ever seen as it was performed solely under candlelight. The experience was also unique because the playhouse was built based on plans for indoor theaters in the 17th century. It was exciting to be that close to the actors and the stage under the candlelights, and it fit the eerie atmosphere of the play perfectly. 

Bloomsbury Publishing Visit

Among my favorite excursions this term, both individually and as a group, was our visit to the Bloomsbury Publishing office in, well, Bloomsbury. What started as an independent, small publishing house turned into one of the five biggest publishing houses in the UK, at least partly thanks to them publishing the original Harry Potter series. Since then, they have expanded and enriched their collection of books, which lines the shelves of their carefully curated and designed office space, cozy and warm with Christmas decorations and comfy couches. We listened to one of their editorial staff talk about the life of a book, the intricacies of the publishing industry, and her thoughts on the industry's future. They had never had a student group in their office before, so I was grateful to have been there to experience it.

What I appreciate the most about all of these excursions was that they were completely funded by Dartmouth. As an international student on financial aid with limited funds to fully take advantage of London, I appreciated how Dartmouth provided free programming, and our professor Alexander Chee for organizing them. 

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