Shakespeare’s Globe, London

By: Sarah Scarpa

Shakespeare 2Right in the middle of all of the chaos of London and tons of people wandering around the Southbank, you will find Shakespeare’s Globe Theater. Though the Globe has an open top with no roof, you wouldn’t even realise you were in the middle of the busy city.

It is quiet and the performance is so engaging as the actors are right there in front of you speaking right to you. You feel like you are actually in Shakespeare time and have just paid 1p (or £5 current-day price) to watch the show in the standing-only center part of the theater.

Taking a tour of the Globe before watching the show later at night was really cool. Learning about the history and watching as the crew set up the stage for the later performance really gave an understanding to what it was like behind the scenes and all the prep that goes into the performances. Shakespeare 4

Rain or shine the show goes on! It seems that the hardcore Shakespeare enthusiasts consider the rain to be just an extra effect to the play making it more realistic. Luckily it didn’t rain the night we were there, but we would’ve braved it anyway. 🙂

This event was also our closing night for being London Ambassadors for LUIP. It was a great way to close out the year with a great performance of ‘As You Like It’. The was humorous, witty and captivating. At one point I turned around and noticed how many people were actually sitting or standing behind us which I hadn’t even realised for most of the time we stood there.

The Globe offers more than plays and tours, it also has educational workshops and exhibitions.

There is always something on so check out the Globe calendar and get booked in for the next event that takes your fancy!

Cheers, Sarah xx

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London Museums and Cruises — The perfect (budget-friendly) Saturday!

By: Sarah Scarpa

Looking for something fun to do on a SaIMG_9575turday in London that won’t break your budget?

National Portrait Gallery

Trafalgar Square is one of my favorite spots in London. It’s beautiful. There is so much happening right in the center of some of London’s most amazing museums. The National Portrait Gallery has portraits dating back to the time of the Tudors all the way up to present-day Kate Middleton. It’s a great, FREE day trip to see some great art in London and learn a thing or two. 🙂

London City CruisesIMG_9549

It was a cold, dark, windy Saturday but that didn’t stop the LUIP crew from getting out on the Thames for an amazing tour with City Cruises! It’s the best way to see some of London’s most famous attractions up close and hear some history in the process. There’s an indoor bit for those who would like to have a coffee inside and there’s an amazing open-air deck above that is great for taking pictures, taking in the city and waving to passing boats! …Did I mention the student ticket rate for the circular cruise is only £9.10?!

See you on the next City Cruise!
Sarah

Studying in London: The Ultimate Culturally Diverse Experience!

By: Sarah ScarpaDSCN9382

There are many great things about London. The vast diversity of culture is without doubt one of the most notable aspects.

Walking down the street you can hear numerous accents and languages. There is never a dull day in London where you don’t meet someone new or learn something. It’s always fascinating to see who you meet just stopping at a new café or even just at your University in between classes.

There are literally people from all over the world in my MSc programme at Kingston University.

It’s been so cool to meet people from places I’ve only ever heard of and learn about their culture and interests.

The great thing about studying in London, is that everyone here is doing the same exact thing you are! They have left home and are eager and excited to make new friends and learn. You are not alone and you really connect with people you meet along your travels.

It’s like an unspoken bond you immediately have with someone who has also packed up their life and moved across the globe. In my experience everyone has been really nice and accepting of cultural differences and in fact embrace them.

For a potential student looking for the ultimate international experience, London is definitely the place to be. There is truly global representation behind every corner you turn.

It’s easily been the best most rewarding experience of my life to date and I will personally speak to anyone interested. Stop thinking about it, and do it! 😉

Cheers!

For more information about London University International Partnership, vista the LUIP website.

Google’s 9 Notions of Innovation—and London HQ office tour!

By: Sarah Scarpa

Google’s fairly new London headquarters office, referred to as “quirky” by The Telelgraph, was nothing short of its description.IMG_8994 Google is a sponsor of London Universities International Partnership (LUIP), therefore our ambassador group had the opportunity to not only tour the office, but also learn about Google’s 9 Notions of Innovation and have a Q&A session with two highly followed London YouTubers. (All of which was awesome!) Conveniently, one of my current courses is called Innovation; therefore I put together a presentation on Google’s presentation and had shared my findings with class the following day. I used Prezi for the first time and had a lot of fun with it. (Check out my presentation!) Google is known for having an extremely open environment to increase creativity and innovation. Learning about the main things they do to increase participation from staff members, whether they work in the kitchen or as a top account manager, was really inspiring. FullSizeRender (1)

Here’s a brief breakdown:

Google’s 9 Notions of Innovation

  1. Customer need = creative inspiration
  2. Ideas can come from everywhere
  3. Fail quickly and learn
  4. Allow ideas to morph
  5. Creativity loves constraint
  6. Share everything
  7. Data informs decision-making
  8. Users come first
  9. A license to pursue passions

An example of how this list inspires their efforts would be Google’s 20% project. Each employee is allowed the resources and 20% of their work time to pursue a passion. Fun Fact: Gmail was created by an employee during their 20% project time. IMG_8991They also have many office perks including free breakfast, lunch and dinner, numerous funky lounge areas, a gym, daycare, counseling services, table tennis, ball pits and way more. Next, we had the Q&A with YouTubers Helen Anderson, who is the personality for channels “Melon World”, and “Helen Anderson”, and Sanne, the creator of the channel “Books and Quills.” On Helen’s channels you will learn about her band, style, various hair colors and makeup tips as well as some just purely entertaining videos. I found myself watching her videos for hours! Sanne’s channel Books and Quills reviews an array of books suggested by her viewers and some of her own picks. She started this channel a few years back talking about the Twilight series. If you enjoy a good book, Sanne’s virtual book-club atmosphere is something you will definitely want to check out. If you’d like to know more about our visit or have any topics you’d like to learn more about, feel free to email me at scarpasarah@gmail.com Cheers! Some more pics 🙂

Transport for London: Tour inside Abandoned Tube Station with David Leboff

By: Sarah ScarpaIMG_8881

London is famous for its subway system, as we Americans would call it, or in London terms “Underground” or the “Tube”.

Serving about 270 stations across London, the Underground system has been expanding since 1863 when it was first implemented using steam engine trains. There is no secret behind the term the “Tube” it literally refers to the resemblance of a tunnel or tube through which the train travels.

We had a LUIP excursion where our group of Ambassadors had the opportunity to visit the famous Transport for London (TFL) headquarters at 55 Broadway before breaking out our flashlights (torches, in British terms) and making our way to a secluded, abandoned Tube station, last used in WWII.

IMG_8850Before heading to the abandoned station, we had the chance to view London from the top of the 55 Broadway building. It was one of the coolest views of London I’ve seen to date.

Now it was time to tighten our shoelaces and get our flashlights ready to head underground. Before heading underground our tour guide, author David Leboff, warned us there would be parts we would need to hold on tight, be in complete darkness, get dirty and possibly wet. The experience was much like exploring the catacombs, for any of you who’ve ever visited the underworlds of Rome or Paris. (Apparently there are catacombs in London as well. Need to check that out next.)

The weirdest part about this abandoned underground station was that trains do still actually pass through, although they do not stop there. Whenever a train went by we would have to turn our flashlights off to avoid distracting or alarming the conductor and stand in complete darkness until the train passed. Although the location was top secret, there were eerie etchings and drawings on the walls as well as a strange presence felt by some in a few of the rooms we entered, suggesting otherwise. This station was used in WWII to house offices, safe from air raids and it is believed that Winston Churchill frequented this location during the war.

To learn more about the history, engineering, and management challenges of running London’s iconic transport infrastructure, David Leboff’s London Underground history books show great insight from the beginning of the Tube until present day.

Although we were not allowed to take many pictures while underground, here is a short clip of an inside tour David did for the BBC in 2010…Enjoy!

Also, here are some more pictures from the day…which I am allowed to share. 😉

Student Trade Show – Introducing, Rebrella!

By: Sarah Scarpa

As an International student coming to London, your first reaction is to explore every bit of London and Europe, and tend to forget about what the University itself can offer your me and rebrellaexperience as well.

There are loads of events happening on campus, from free speakers, free international meet-ups (usually include some free drinks) and in the case of this past Friday, a student Trade Show which I took part in!

As an MSc in International Business Management Student at Kingston University London we have the opportunity to take an elective course called Designing a Business which is part of the MACE program or (Master of Arts in Creative Economy).

In this course you have the opportunity to work in a group of 5 students who come from all different professional backgrounds and start your own business, through the Young Enterprise group. Yes, you actually start your own business. You’ll spend 3 months inventing your product and developing it, then the next 3 months marketing and selling. Group

Note: You either need to raise money, find investors…or put in your own money! It’s the real deal. You will face all of the struggles a new start-up with limited funds would. And, you get to split the profits in the end if the business goes well. You can also choose to keep the business going after the course ends.

My group is called CreateAbit. Rebrella is our fabulous product to help keep your bag dry from the rain and look great doing it!

This trade show was the first time our product, and products from our classmates, were presented to the public for sale. We will be attending many more events throughout the semester.

For more information on Rebrella, the MACE program, Young Enterprise or upcoming trade shows, please send an email to: createabitinfo@gmail.com

Cheers!

Southbank Sunday! – Tate Modern & Barrowboy and Banker

The Southbank of London never has a dull moment especially during the holiday season.

Tate Modern is one of many free museums in London. With 6 floors of exhibits, cafes, extensive gift shops and an amazing rooftop view out over the Thames, you can get lost in there for hours.

Christmas markets line the Southbank during this time of year. After wandering in the Tate, we followed the river down to the famous Barrowboy and Banker where we ended the day with a proper Sunday roast.

Here are some pics from a great Sunday Funday on the Southbank of London!

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