Earlier this month, I took a trip to New York City for an admitted student reception with one of the JHU admissions officers and six other current students (including my twin sister). The admissions officer accompanying us was John Birney, or JB—the Senior Associate Director of Undergraduate Admissions and the admissions counselor that admitted me to JHU almost 4 years ago!
JB has worked at Hopkins for close to fifteen years and is the type of guy that every student would refer to as “cool.” When he invited the seven of us to attend the admitted student reception, he tried to bribe us to come along with promises of bringing snacks for the 4-hour ride. He asked for snack requests and each of us offered one or two suggestions.
When we made our way to the van on the morning of the reception, however, we were blown away. Our (otherwise creepy) white van had been converted into a sweet factory, fully stocked with—what appeared to be—a lifetime supply of delicious treats. JB brought close to sixty bags of chips, packs upon packs of Sour Patch Kids and Sour Patch Watermelon, an entire case of fruit snacks, pretzels, Goldfish, and more, as well as a cooler filled to the brim with water, soda, and tons of Capri Sun juice packs (the fan favorite).
By the time we arrived in New York we were hyped-up, to say the least. The reception went swimmingly; we had the privilege of talking about The Johns Hopkins University for three hours as we shared our stories and thoughts with 30+ admitted students and their families. My parents met us in NYC and came to the reception, as well—my dad even gave a short speech about how fantastic JHU has been to his daughters and how the school fosters unparalleled parent-university relationships.
I volunteer in the admissions office for a reason—I love Johns Hopkins. I love everything about the university: the campus, the professors, the people, the city, and the student atmosphere. And while I could probably talk about Hopkins forever, this trip to NYC was not my favorite memory of Spring 2013 because of the admitted student reception. To be completely honest, the van rides to and from NYC were the highlights of the day.
I didn’t know all of the other students when we first took off on our journey, but after a total of eight hours singing Les Misérables, Taylor Swift, and Pitch Perfect, reaching over one another to grab handfuls of snacks, and passing Capri Sun packs around, deciding if we liked Kiwi Strawberry or Pacific Cooler best, I’d say we got pretty close.
JB, however, wins MVP for the van ride—the man had us cracking up for hours and even treated us to some Shake Shack on the ride home! Above all, he truly made us feel like we were his friends; each time I reminded myself that he was the one who admitted me to Hopkins, I’d feel a deep connection to the university and would smile knowing that I’m a part of an institution where the Senior Director of admissions is such a great friend to his students.
I hope our team did a nice job of recruiting some awesome new incoming freshmen in NYC for the Class of 2017, but for those still deciding, consider this: if you choose to attend Johns Hopkins University, I can guarantee that you will feel like you’re a part of something. Whether that feeling reverberates across your four years here as you participate in a club or an on-campus organization, or whether you feel it for 10 hours straight on a road trip to and from NYC, arriving back at JHU at 1:00am on a school night—you will feel it. Congratulations again and good luck with your decision!
This semester has been one of my busiest yet. I’m taking 15 credits across five courses, and one of my classes (Advertising & Integrated Marketing Communication) is essentially a job.
For the past few years, JHU has been selected to compete against 19 other schools in a nationwide marketing competition. The Advertising & Integrated Marketing Communication class is converted into a full-service ad agency and works to create an integrated marketing campaign for its ‘client.’ The program is designed to give students real life, hands-on business experience in a classroom setting.
This year, our client is larger than ever before—Honda! Honda has asked us to develop an integrated marketing communications plan to increase purchase consideration of the 2013 Honda Civic Sedan among the Gen Y target market.
Our class has transformed into an ad agency called Global Blue Strategies and we’ve divided into five departments (research, campaign strategy & implementation, public relations & social media, advertising & multimedia, and budget & finance). We’ve been working for weeks on end to develop a campaign theme, message, and slogan, to design a website, T-shirts, and print ads, and to generate campus-wide buzz through events, contests, and giveaways.
I was incredibly surprised when I went to test-drive the 2013 Honda Civic Sedan. The car is beautiful and contains features that are clearly geared towards my generation (SMS text function—reads your text messages out loud and allows you to reply with pre-set options, Pandora compatibility, USB Audio Interface, navigation, a back-up camera, and so much more). However, our research demonstrated (through surveys, focus groups, and in-depth interviews) that many college students see the Honda brand as a hand-me-down vehicle either from their parents or an older sibling. Few recognized the car as a youthful, innovative, or fun brand—and our goal is to raise the target market’s perception of Honda as just that!
We understand that Honda is a classic brand, but the 2013 Honda Civic Sedan is sexier, bolder, more up-to-date and in tune with the future. It’s your classic Honda—remixed. Our slogan is “Recreate A Classic” and our entire campaign is targeted towards converting a classic (whether that be a work of music, dance, or art) into something more current.
I am a member of the advertising & multimedia department, and—as one of the only people in my class with experience filming and editing using Final Cut Pro—I was in charge of producing our commercials. Here’s a glimpse into what we’ve accomplished thus far: Commercial 1 & Commercial 2
Honda will measure our agency’s success on the basis of our percentage increase in target market purchase consideration, percentage increase in target market awareness of the Honda Civic brand, percentage of campus exposed to the campaign, exposure rate to the viral pass-along component of the campaign, and usable marketing campaign strategies targeted towards Gen Y.
Hopkins took first place in last year’s marketing challenge; let’s hope Global Blue Strategies can pull through and make Hopkins proud yet again!
FINALLY! After all of the emailing, waiting, researching, waiting, interviewing, and waiting some more…
I LANDED AN INTERNSHIP FOR SUMMER 2013!
I applied to a handful of TV production internships, particularly those in news studios but also some purely entertainment-based positions: CBS News, CBSInteractive, ABC News, CNN, NBC Universal, Fox News, Bloomberg News, The Today Show, Live! With Kelly and Michael, and The Rachael Ray Show (just to name a few). And then there was the odd man out–an advertising agency in NYC! Formerly know as J. Walter Thompson, now just JWT.
I’ve taken a couple of marketing courses at Hopkins, but to be honest, I never thought I’d apply to an internship in that field. One night over intersession I went on an internship-search rampage and applied to a flood of TV production positions. The J. Walter Thompson application popped up on my computer screen and here was the job description:
“JWT’s distinctive ten-week paid summer internship program allows interns to work within departments across the agency. During their internship, interns will be able to experience real-life projects as well as experience life in an advertising agency. We are looking for resourceful, innovative and focused individuals who can embrace challenges with imagination and flair. If you fit this description, we invite you to apply for our summer 2013 internship program!
Requirements and Qualifications include, but are not limited to:
•Must be enrolled in an accredited university as a rising Senior
•Must be proficient in Microsoft Office
•A passion to make and discover new things
•Proven effective communication skills
•Solid relationship building and partnering skills
•Ability to work independently and in a fast-paced team environment
•Organization and follow-up skills
•Knowledge of social media”
I did some background research and I thought to myself: I fit all of the requirements and this is a HUGE company…I might as well apply!
So I did. And lo and behold, something amazing happened! The HR team was impressed with my résumé, particularly with the “Learn More, See More, B’More” video series that I created for JHU Admissions and with my ability to target the millennial generation (proven by my various appearances on NBC’s Today Show as a spokesperson for my generation). JWT brought me into the office to meet the company’s director of branded entertainment. He loved my ideas—he even asked me why I was applying for internships and suggested I start my own production company…
I had a telephone interview with HR soonafter, and just a few days ago I got a call from the creative recruiter who offered me the opportunity to work side-by-side with the director of branded entertainment! I accepted immediately regardless of the fact that I’m currently in the midst of interviewing with about 10 other companies. I considered the magnitude of this opportunity and I just know that I can’t turn it down; JWT will open so many doors for me and this position will give me the ability to actually put some of my ideas into action. I’ll be able to combine my passion for production with my undying desire to create and will come out of the summer with tangible projects that I’ve helped develop and produce.
I’m so so so excited! Check out this site for pictures of the beautiful NY office where I’ll be spending my summer. I’ll write a follow-up blog after I begin working. Good luck to all those still in the process of applying to internships, and congratulations to all who have already secured positions!
I thoroughly enjoyed the buzzing atmosphere of my freshman dorm (AMR II); I spent my days chatting with friends through their propped-open bedroom doors, spreading my class notes and homework assignments across the hallway’s floor, and meeting—on average—two new people a day, either in my dorm, at the FFC, or just walking around the freshman quad.
Freshmen, by living in such close proximity to one another and by sharing facilities like the FFC, become the heart of JHU each year. There’s a certain unity in each freshman class that never ceases to bring these newbies to the forefront of campus life. All freshman year dorm options have something in common: they’re social. Even Buildings A and B (which are typically considered to be the least social) are situated on the freshman quad and allow for suite-style living with double, triple, and quad bedrooms.
Things change a bit sophomore year. Students enter a housing lottery with the friends they’ve chosen to live with and—in order of the drawing—pick from four housing options. While some of these dorms house more students than others, all are on-campus buildings owned by the university and are occupied exclusively by Hopkins students. Sophomore year is the last time that students live solely with their own grade.
And now we’ve arrived at the point in one’s Hopkins career that I’ve just recently reached myself. Junior and senior years. Off-campus housing and no meal plans—sounds daunting, right? Well, it’s really not too shabby. I live in The Charles, which is an off-campus apartment building situated smack in the middle of CharMar and Charles Commons. Although this building is not owned by JHU and is, therefore, consider off-campus, I think it’s safe to say that The Charles is located on campus, and that it’s physically closer to the campus than many of the university’s on-campus housing options.
My single complaint with off-campus living is that all of my friends no longer live in the same place; I’m obliged to put in a much larger effort if I’d like to see people who—last year—I ran into daily in the Charles Commons lobby. That’s the only downside. Otherwise, living in an off-campus apartment building has already (in only a few short weeks of being back at Hopkins) taught me wonders about adulthood and “the real world.”
Since I’m no longer on a meal plan, I’ve started budgeting my money by making a conscious effort to cook more. My friends and I switch off cooking meals for one another and have begun making some delicious creations. Additionally, even though The Charles is home to some non-JHU affiliates, a majority of the building’s occupants are Hopkins students—it’s amazing how many of my Phi Mu sisters and fellow Mental Notes live here!
I used to say that my least favorite thing about Hopkins was the fact that the university doesn’t offer on-campus housing for juniors and seniors. After living in The Charles for a short five weeks, however, I take it back. Living off-campus gives you a glimpse into “real life.” It offers you a jumpstart and teaches the dos and don’ts of living on your own. And—might I add—it does so at quite the affordable price (try comparing the price of my two-bedroom, huge living room, and full kitchen apartment in The Charles to a similar setup in New York City). I foresee a serious downgrade in my future living arrangements.
To me, Johns Hopkins is way more than an academic institution. The university is full of on-campus clubs, teams, and societies, and whether each group’s focus is a sport, academics, or simply fun and games, they flood the campus with a sense of camaraderie.
It was incredibly tough going away for an entire semester and separating myself from the groups that I devote most of my time to on campus—I’m referring to four groups in particular that I’m incredibly invested in at JHU.
For starters, the cast and crew of the video series that I created for the Office of Undergraduate Admissions: “Learn More, See More, B’More.” We put the show on hold for the three months that I was in London and our videographer was in Copenhagen. My co-host and I stayed in touch and worked on new episode ideas and scripts, and we can’t wait to be back for the spring semester and to pick up right where we left off.
Building off of that group, SAAB (the Student Admissions Advisory Board that brings you Hopkins Interactive and these blogs) has been a huge part of my life at Hopkins since freshman year, and even though I was absent this fall, the group continued to expand when the new freshmen joined. I was able to Skype into a meeting to meet the newest additions, and although I wasn’t present, I interacted with them almost daily by reading their blogs and co-answering prospective students’ questions in the Facebook groups. It was so great to know that the freshmen felt connected to me before we even met in person.
Next is Phi Mu. I spend so much time at school with my sorority sisters. We hang out on the weekends, do work together, eat meals together, and so much more. It was extremely difficult being away from my Phamily and all of my best friends for an entire semester. Through our Facebook group I was able to stay connected and feel like a sister even from thousands of miles away. It always made me smile to read posts in our Facebook groups saying things like, “I’m going to a formal tonight and I really want to wear red pumps…can I borrow a pair from someone? I’m a size 7!”
Last but definitely not least…my comedy a cappella group, The Mental Notes. I’d say that I spend most of my time on campus with this group. We practice for seven hours every week and that’s just the mandatory time we spend together excluding all of the time we spend hanging out on the side, eating meals together, studying together, and just goofing around. Five new members joined in my absence and, through our listserv, I was able to communicate with them daily. I was even elected president while I was in London, and now I get to come back as the head of this group that I’ve partially not yet met, but already love.
Connections and friends are everything. While schoolwork is obviously of the utmost importance, you can’t get anywhere without groups and activities that you share with people you really care about and who really care about you. If I was able to continue these relationships and connections while I was more than three thousand miles away studying abroad, I already know that they will last me a lifetime. See you in three days, Hopkins!
I’ve had something to look forward to every few weeks for the past five months.
First, in early September, I was off to London for a semester abroad. I had a new and exciting adventure lurking around every corner—a trip to Paris with friends, my first stay in a hostel (this wasn’t as exciting as I’d expected), the weekend my parents came to visit, seeing Les Miserables in the West End, exploring Hyde Park’s Winter Wonderland festivities, and so much more.
As I packed up to go home I had one thing on my mind: family! I was just as excited to get back into the swing of things at home as I had been to settle down a few months earlier in a new country thousands of miles away from home. When I landed in New York, Christmas was only ten days away. Chestnuts were roasting on an open fire, Grandma got run over by a reindeer…you know, the whole shebang.
After days of holiday cheer and nights of relaxing by the fire and the Christmas tree, it was time to embark on a family vacation to the Caribbean. We’ve been back to the same hotel on the same island each year for the twenty years I’ve been alive. The employees of the hotel say, “Welcome home” and greet me with hugs and kisses.
I’ve been invited to appear in my fourth Today Show segment in late January. Live television is, to me, the most exciting thing in the world, so my potential return to NBC Television is very high on my list of upcoming events to be excited about (I say potential because scheduling for live TV is subject to change until about three minutes before a segment actually airs).
The day after my scheduled TV appearance is the day I pack up the car and head back to Baltimore for the spring semester of my junior year. One might think that this day marks the end of the excitement that I’ve been constantly anticipating throughout these past five months. Back to nothing but papers, exams, studying, and stammering when I don’t know an answer in class…right?
Through it all—my three-and-a-half-month-long stay in London, my spontaneous excursions throughout Europe, the visits from friends and family, heading home, my white Christmas, my sun-soaked week in the Caribbean, and the opportunity to appear on 40 million television screens across the nation—I’ve been incessantly dreaming about my return to Johns Hopkins.
In high school, the return to school after summer or winter break was a unanimously dreaded day. Going back to Hopkins, though, is like rejoining a community. For me, it means singing a cappella songs three nights a week, cooking meals with my friends and Phi Mu phamily, dressing up for themed parties and sorority mixers, and enjoying Einstein’s vanilla hazelnut coffee every morning. Sure, it includes papers, exams, studying, and (I’ll admit) stammering when I don’t know an answer in class, but I’ll do all of the hard work if it means that I can go home to Homewood.
While in London I began a memory box and filled it with everything that I knew would remind me of study abroad once I was back at home. Inside, I kept tickets, brochures, bracelets, receipts and much more. Below are a few of my favorite memories that I garnered from the box!
Tickets to Brussels: I spent three nights in Brussels with two of my friends from Hopkins. I’ve been there before, as my cousin used to be the Italian representative to the EU (which is situated in Brussels). Regardless of how many times one visits the city, however, its beauty never fades. Also, this was my first time touring Brussels in the winter, so I had the chance to explore the beautiful Christmas Market: Brussels Winter Wonders.
The Heineken Experience: My dad, twin sister, and I went to Amsterdam and took a tour at the Heineken Experience! This former brewery offers games, rides, beer tastings, and more, and gives visitors the chance to learn about Heineken’s history, experience the brewing process, and to bottle and personalize their own Heineken beer.
The Beatles Magical Mystery Tour: My first trip in the UK was to Liverpool—home of the Beatles! My dad has been a New York radio personality since the 70s; he’s interviewed members of the Beatles, he’s played their music for decades, and he obviously taught his little girl all about Beatlemania. The Magical Mystery Tour bus visits Strawberry Field, Penny Lane, the Cavern Club, and the childhood homes of John, Paul, George, and Ringo. I was absolutely hysterical!!!
Musée du Cacao et du Chocolat: Just off of the Grand Place in Brussels, my friend Liza and I visited the Museum of Cocoa and Chocolate! Inside, visitors are given loads of free chocolate samples, the chance to watch a professional chocolatier at work, and a glimpse into the life cycle of a cocoa bean.
Paris Metro tickest: I spent a weekend in Paris with some of my best friends on the planet—my Hopkins friends! We explored the city, climbed the Arc De Triomphe, and had a garden feast complete with fresh fruit, vegetables, and baguettes.
Tickets to Oxford: Towards the end of my stay in London, a bunch of other students and I decided to take a day trip to Oxford University. We snuck (hehe, don’t tell) into one of the living quarters and enjoyed the beauty of the campus all the while pretending to be students of the university. Afterwards, we relaxed at a famous pub and enjoyed some mulled wine and chunky chips.
Johns Hopkins University gave me the opportunity to explore a new continent and to live in a country that’s very different from my own. A country with castles, queens, and very little ice. A country where soccer is called football, and cars drive on the left side of the road. A country that I’ll return to someday with fond memories and plenty of foreign travel adapters. I hope you enjoyed the pictures and descriptions, and that you can get a glimpse into three of the most amazing months of my life. Cheerio!
I’ve never had an internship that’s been quite as rewarding as my most recent work experience in London. For seven weeks I worked at one of the UK’s premier shopping channels, delving into all aspects of pre, post, and live production. I was used as a model in many of their commercials for various products including Fujifilm and Nikon cameras, the Nook eReader, and the Apple iPad 2.
This blog will speak for itself, as readers will have the chance to view the commercials that I’ve been a part of. In addition to actually being in the commercials, I was given the unique opportunity to sit in the editing suite and edit parts of the footage using Final Cut Pro.
At Hopkins, I’m used to going on film shoots for my video series “Learn More, See More, B’More” every few weeks. When I first arrived in London, I was very nostalgic; I missed traveling around with a cameraman, seeing new people and learning new things. I told myself I’d just have to wait until I got back to Hopkins before I could have that experience again. Little did I know that at my internship I’d have the chance to travel to some of London’s most beautiful sites and hidden gems, all the while being filmed--just like at home.
I felt immediately comfortable in front of the camera, and after my first commercial I was asked to participate again and again. Sadly, my internship has come to an end. I’m now walking away from my work experience with many new friends, great connections, and tons of great footage that I can save forever. I hope you enjoy our work!
Finally, Ryan (my fellow intern) and I were responsible for making a video recapping our time at Argos TV--this will be used as our final exam for our internship course. Enjoy!
I’ve learned a lot about the UK throughout my semester in London. I now know the reason why people rave about bangers and mash, that “controversy” is often pronounced “contROVersy,” and that an expensive British uni would cost around £9,000 a year (less than 15,000 USD).
Surprisingly, however, my semester abroad seems to have taught me a lot more about my own country. Any American spending weeks in a British work environment is bound to be asked question after question about America’s history, traditions, and stereotypes.
“What is Black Friday?”
“Is your life like ‘Sex and The City’?”
“Do people in uni only drink beer from those red plastic cups?”
And the question that inspired this blog: ”What is Thanksgiving?”
When I was hit with that question, I initially spewed out some thoughts regarding harvests, Squanto, and Native Americans. My second idea revolved around sweet potatoes with marshmallows, pumpkin pie, and turkey. “But what IS it? What does it mean to you?” they’d ask. So I thought about it…
I wrote a similar blog last fall titled “Thanks to Greek Life for my Thanksgiving.” This is my second Thanksgiving in a row spent away from home, so to keep myself from missing New York too much, I have to consciously remind myself of all I have to be thankful for in my family and friends.
Even in my absence, my family gathers to celebrate Thanksgiving (I know–absolute rubbish)! I’m thankful for Skype and being able to see familiar faces during the holiday season even when I’m thousands of miles away. Friends have been an essential part of my time abroad. For starters, I’m thankful for the wonderful friends I’ve made on my study abroad program in London. The 12 people in my randomly-assigned kitchen have quickly become some of my favorite people in the world. We all clicked with one another immediately and have easily become the most unified floor on the program.
On Thanksgiving we gathered together with a few of our other close friends and had an American-style Thanksgiving potluck dinner. We went around the table to say what we were thankful for and, not surprisingly, we are all thankful for one another.
Last week, my friend from home, Julie, traveled from Vanderbilt University to London for the weekend. I’m thankful to have parents, a boyfriend, and a best friend that would travel from the states to visit me in England.
And of course, since one Thanksgiving dinner is never enough, I spent this past weekend in Durham, England for Thanksgiving round two. One of my best friends from Hopkins (Liza) lives in Durham, as her dad is a canon at the Durham Cathedral. Another of my best friends (Liz) along with my twin sister and I stayed in her house with two of her friends studying in Paris and one of her friends from high school. We Skyped with our other best friends from Hopkins and were artificially “all together.”
The seven of us plus her parents and younger brother sat around a gigantic dining room table and ate all day. We spent the night snuggled up by the fire watching Christmas movies and drinking hot chocolate. I’m thankful for friends and families like that.
I’m thankful for my parents’ best friends who recently moved to London and opened up their flat in Marylebone to my sister and I as a second home throughout the semester. They’ve treated us like their own children and have been a constant source of support, inspiration, and love.
No matter how far away from home you are, it’s always possible to find a surrogate home with a surrogate family for the holiday season. In the end, I told my British co-workers that Thanksgiving wasn’t really about the pilgrims or the food, but really about friends, family, and…ok…food.
1. The London Eye: Situated on the banks of the River Thames, the London Eye is a relatively new landmark and major tourist attraction. This giant ferris wheel stands at 443 feet tall and 394 feet wide and contains 32 air-conditioned passenger capsules that hold a total of 25 people each. My boyfriend and I rode the London Eye at night when he came to visit London–the view was breathtaking.
2. Big Ben and Houses of Parliament: This is, well, the meeting place of the two houses of the Parliament in the UK. Commonly known as the Palace of Westminster, this beautiful, enormous structure lies right on the Middlesex bank of the River Thames and is home to Elizabeth Tower–more commonly known by the name of its main bell, “Big Ben.” This building looks most beautiful when looked at from the Thames at sunset.
3. Buckingham Palace: Home to the British monarch, Buckingham Palace is a setting for state occasions and royal goings-on. The palace contains around 20 state rooms, 50 principal bedrooms, 200 staff bedrooms, 90 offices, and 80 bathrooms. ”Diamonds: A Jubilee Celebration,” a five-month-long exhibition open at Buckingham Palace, showed the many ways in which diamonds have been used by British monarchs over the last two centuries. Luckily, I was able to attend this exhibit with my friend Alyssa and her parents; it felt surreal being that close to The Queen’s personal jewels.
4. Borough Market: Borough Market is my favorite market in London! Why? Because it’s ALL food! You can literally navigate your way through Borough Market on an empty stomach and walk away stuffed from all of the free samples. The vibrant colors and the beautifully displayed food platters make Borough Market an incredibly fashionable place to shop. The market, located on Southwark Street and Borough High Street, has been promoted by British TV chefs and has been used in various film shoots as well.
5. Wembley Stadium: I went to Wembley Stadium during my first week in London to watch an England vs. Ukraine football game. I was amazed not only by the stadium’s gigantic size (Wembley is the second largest stadium in Europe), but also by the incredible amount of energy and spirit emanating from the fans. England football fans are incredibly passionate (and loud)!
6. Harrods: The first thing to excite me upon my arrival in London was learning that Harrods was a short walk from my dorm! This department store occupies five acres (!) and has over one million square feet of space, making it the largest department store in all of Europe. The store’s motto is Omnia Omnibus Ubique—All Things for All People, Everywhere. There’s no doubt Harrods sees to its motto with departments such as Christmas World, Pet Kingdom, the Harrods Bank, a pharmacy, the Food Halls, Toy Kingdom, and more.
7. Hyde Park: My dorm is located directly south of Hyde Park, so I’ve had the opportunity to walk (and bike ride) through the park many times! In addition to the park’s various ponds and bodies of waters (including the Serpentine), the park also boasts a mini-golf course, tennis courts, and a specialist horse riding arena.
8. Windsor Castle: Windsor Castle is a medieval castle in the English county of Berkshire. It’s famous both for its stunning architecture and its association with the British royal family. My program brought us here during our first week in London; it was a great way to get a taste of this country’s incredible history.
9. The River Thames: I clearly love the River Thames, as two of my previous highlights are situated directly on the river’s banks. Early in the semester, my program took us on a river cruise down the Thames so we could see many of central London’s hotspots and must-see tourist attractions. The Thames is the site of the original London Bridge, the more-well-known Tower Bridge, and the Millenium Bridge (seen in one of the Harry Potter movies). Additionally, St. Paul’s Cathedral, the London Eye, Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament, and the Shard are all visible from the banks of the river. Each September, the Mayor sponsors a free weekend event alongside the Thames featuring an outdoor arts festival, street entertainers, and more.
10. The Crofton: “What’s the Crofton? I’ve been to London many times and the Crofton’s not a famous landmark…” That’s what you’re thinking, I suppose? Well, the Crofton is definitely one of my London highlights–the Crofton is my dorm building. It’s where I live, where I’ve made all of my friends, and the place I call “home” in London. I feel incredibly safe and comfortable walking around outside of the building, as this neighborhood has become home to me. If and when I return to London in the future, I’d never pass up the opportunity to come back home again.