We have finished off week one, here at University of Westminster and it has flown by. Similar to Welcome Week in Madison, we have “Freshers’ Week.” This past week has consisted of book buying, course selection, and of course boat cruises. I’ll be taking four modules, which is the equivalent of taking 16 credits. With class Tuesday through Thursday I’ll have Writing in Contemporary Britain, Art and Society of London, Governing the European Union, and Issues in European Law. Art and Society is a class designed for study abroad students and today we actually visited the British Museum (http://www.britishmuseum.org/) and even got to see the Rosetta Stone, the key to decipherment of Egyptian hieroglyphics. Courses are structured here with more of an emphasis on relying on your own initiative, rather than following stringent syllabi. Freshers’ Week finishes up with up the final event, “Smoke Fest”, hosted through the University Student Union (http://uwsu.com/whats-on/).
The Boat Cruise on the River Thames was a classic way to start out Freshers’ Week. On both Wednesday and Thursday you could aboard the Dutch Masters’ three story cruise ship for nighttime festivities. We passed under the London Bridge, saw the London Eye lit up at night, and flew by other destinations, including Tate Modern, which is currently hosting a Edvard Munch exhibit (Well known for painting The Scream). Of course, no boat cruise would be complete without a dance floor, which wasted no time to throw on the inevitable crowd pleaser, The Cupid Shuffle…
Week one has been mostly a way to familiarize us with the city, and at times has felt like an episode of the Amazing Race. After rushing down the tube to your next destination, you fully expect Phil to be waiting there on the carpet to meet you. We have also been able to locate a sports café to watch American football (Tough loss for the Packers against Russell Wilson and the Seahawks), a running route along a canal (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Regent’s_Canal) and we’re successfully on a first name basis at “City Best Kebabs.” It has only been one week, but we’re all looking forward to spending the rest of the semester here.