Two Birds with One Stone – Language and Culture, City and Country, Cardiff and London
Students on the elective course EL3043 enjoyed a 27-day study-tour to the UK during July and August 2016. The first three weeks were spent in the Welsh capital Cardiff. After mornings in class students had free time each day to mix with their international classmates, to explore the city, or to visit the coast and nearby attractions. Although Cardiff is a modern, vibrant and cosmopolitan place, it also has plenty of history: students enjoyed visiting castles and museums as well as browsing the traditional market and ‘shopping malls’ called arcades, some of which are over 100 years old. Further afield, students visited the world famous Gower beaches and joined trips to the Cotswold villages and to Salisbury and Stonehenge.
Studies took place at Celtic Language Academy, where very few students speak Chinese. DELL students therefore have a great opportunity to learn about other cultures while having no choice but to speak English! The chance to improve one’s English skills very quickly is one big advantage of a study-tour like this.
The trip concluded with four nights in London. Staying in accommodation provided by the University of London, and exploring by tube, bus and on foot, students had a lively introduction to this great city. Of course, the Houses of Parliament, St Paul’s Cathedral, Westminster Abbey, and Tower Bridge are all must-see attractions, but there was in fact much more to see and do. There were visits to Harry Potter Studios, to Sherlock Holmes’s fictional home, to the British Museum, and to the National Gallery. A matinee performance of Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew was funny and shocking by turns, and surprisingly easy to understand. Evenings were also spent at the theatre, including Phantom of the Opera and Les Miserables, and at a concert in the BBC Proms series at the Royal Albert Hall.
Now we are all back on campus, and the EL3043 students are looking forward to giving presentations to share their experience and encourage classmates to plan ahead to take this course in semester 1052.