Wednesday, January 13, 2010

London Student Comments

I never thought that once I was home I would feel so different after our trip. As corny as it sounds, I felt extremely at home and at peace in London which gives me hope that one day I will be brave enough to live there on my own. So I would like to take this opportunity to again thank the Manriques for taking the effort and time out of their own busy schedules to shuttle us crazy kids around the city of London. For without them I never would have found my future home within the vast globalized and financial cosmopolitan.
What I did gather from the public places in London is that people were incredibly friendly. When being in such a large metropolitan area, it is not what one would expect. We hear many stories about rude people in places such as New York City, but never London. People on the tube would ask us where we were from, what we had done and answer any questions we might have. I really enjoyed being in such a friendly environment.
I was mostly awed by the beauty of London, its history and buildings are so well preserved and the city was not in the least bit dirty. Needless to say, London left me with an incredible first impression.
The travel study to London was an amazing experience. Even after being home for a couple of weeks and reflecting on the trip, it still baffles me how we accomplished so much in such a short period of time. To not only see many of the tourist attractions, but also meet with multiple businesses is impressive.
All the businesses mentioned above helped show how many of the concepts we learned in class work in the real world. From speculating in the market like Evolution or creating the market like Lloyd’s, the fundamentals of international finance are seen. Many of the businesses also conveyed the same overall message that although right now is a difficult time to do business, it is also exciting and rewarding.
One of the things that stuck with me the most from the trip was seeing the full spectrum of culture in London. On one hand we had the upper class activities, such as seeing the three plays in the West End, and attending the modern art museum. The plays themselves were remarkable, but to be placed in that atmosphere was even more fascinating. Before this trip I was never interested in theater, and I can honestly say that I walked away from this trip with a new respect for the arts. On the other hand you have the middle/lower class activities such as eating at the pub, attending the soccer match or even riding the “tube”.
In a world of prejudice and stereotypes, this may be one of the most valuable lessons learned from travel study. By opening yourself up to others and learning about culture through them you enrich your own values. If the world was more receptive to this message it would be astonishing where we would be.
London taught me a lot. I learned an immense amount of information on international finance, something new about another country’s culture, and like anytime one travels; I learned a little more about myself.

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