Monday, February 1, 2010

#72: Talking About How Awesome London Was

One of the great experiences that many students have while attending Notre Dame is studying abroad.  During their junior year students can spend a semester or even a year studying in many far-reaching corners of the globe at locations such as Shanghai, China; Toledo, Spain; Santiago, Chile; Dublin, Ireland; and Fremantle, Australia.  These (and other) locations are interesting because of how their programs are set up.  Many feature students living with host families and taking classes with students from around the world.

Of all the abroad programs, however, the most unique and important is The London Program.

The London Program is unique because it is operated entirely by the University.  Students live in flats filled with other Notre Dame Students (in a building dominated by Notre Dame Students), they take all of their classes with only Notre Dame Students (classes that are taught by Notre Dame professors, in a building owned by the University), and they spend much of the semester travelling around Europe with other Notre Dame Students.

While other abroad programs grant students the opportunity to live and learn with students of different cultures, the London Program gives students the opportunity to create a miniature version of Notre Dame in a city that is decidedly more interesting than South Bend, Indiana.  These students embrace this opportunity by making new groups of Notre Dame friends and expanding their part of the Notre Dame network (see #85).

When these students return to campus from London, they continuously talk about how awesome London was.  They talk about going to clubs that aren’t named Fever.  They talk about going on weekend trips to Prague and Sweden and about drinking Ice Dragon in their flats.  These students talk incessantly about how awesome their booze cruise was on the River Thames, and they have seemingly added the word cheers to their everyday speech.

These students are able to talk about how awesome London was because they have other people to reminisce about it with.  While students in other abroad programs might have known a handful of other people from Notre Dame at their location, students in The London Program literally come back with new groups of friends who they can discuss their adventures with—and all of their old friends will have to sit through their stories again and again (especially the stories about the booze cruise).

However, students that didn’t study in London will eventually learn that the great thing about all of these stories is that it makes an entire class of students more tightly knit.  The 200 (or so) people that go to London each semester might come back with new friends, but these new friends will be linked with old friends and each class will seemingly become smaller. 

For this reason, the students that didn’t go to London tolerate all of the chatter about London because they will have made new friends because of how awesome London was.  


  1. london sucks. go learn a language

  2. Ironic for "The Fighting Irish" to like London...