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an image of the London Tower Bridge from the view of the river

Hello from London! For my 2024 spring term, I have the incredible opportunity to live and study in London on the Music Foreign Study Program (FSP)!

I have been planning and waiting for this FSP for the past year—I applied for the program in my first-year winter term, and it's hard to believe that I'm writing this blog in London right now. With a focus on music, this study program is a little different than the other programs offered at Dartmouth. I'd like to share them in this post to show the variety of foreign experiences that Dartmouth students experience!

The music FSP at Dartmouth alternates locations every year, between London and Vienna, both cultural epicenters for music. Instead of living with host families like some study programs, the music FSP students live in apartments or student housing. Although the FSP had multiple students living in one apartment in previous years, we are living in single-student housing units this time around. The study programs have varying living space types, depending on what is being studied and where students are.

an image of a small studio apartment with suitcases on the floor
Move-in day!

I'm particularly excited about my arrangement because of the provided kitchenette! I haven't had to cook for myself in a living space before, and I'm already cooking up some meals for myself (that aren't just instant ramen).

In stark contrast to Dartmouth's campus, where classes are only a ten-minute walk away, our living situation in this program means we get around with hefty commutes through the London Underground—the tube! It's been a very different experience so far traversing a city instead of a small campus. Navigating and choosing what to do in the city was (and still is) a little overwhelming, but I've been enjoying the "city-living" experience!

a group of students going down an escalator
The Tube!

And, of course, there's the music. As part of the FSP experience, we students get to watch concerts in London…and a lot of them. I've been here a week, and we've already watched four!

an image of the theater of the London Coliseum
an image of a stage with two marimbas and four drum sets on it

The venues we've gone to so far have been stunning, and since they're all across the city, it's allowed me to explore the city even faster than I expected. The music has been incredible, too. Music has such a wide reach and variety, and the concerts that we'll be seeing this term reflect that. Already, we've seen a concert with African drumming, another with contemporary percussion, and an opera, and there's so much more to see and listen to.

I hope that I get to absorb and be inspired by all the different types of music I learn and listen to, to ultimately create more of my own music! I'll be sharing my experiences with music and London as I do so.  

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