Friday, November 2, 2012

Their sweet 14 days in London

At Changi Airport before embarking on the 12 hours flight

It was a special and exciting evening on 29 Sep 2012 (Saturday) for a group of sixteen Diploma in Business Information Technology (DBIT) students. Together with their family, they gathered at Changi Airport to embark on their 12 hour plane journey to a beautiful city of rich history where the Olympics was held this year – London!

Group photo at the impressive UCL campus
No doubt many of their friends were full of envy of their opportunity to go on a trip like this. But behind the glamour of the trip, there is hard work involved too!

The first time it is organized, this 2 weeks Overseas Immersion Programme (OIP) to London, United Kingdom is definitely NOT a mere ‘holiday’ for the students involved. In fact, this trip comes with pretty rigorous demands as the students would be attending university undergraduate Year 2 and Year 3 lessons at University College London (UCL) during the trip, and after they return from the trip, they are required to work on group projects that would be supervised and graded by the UK professors via Skype. So, don’t ‘play play’ – the students who choose to go on this trip must be prepared to put in a lot of brainwork and effort!

In the midst of their serious objective to learn and work on their projects, the students could not miss the chance to explore London too of course! Here’s some of the leisurely places they visited and had fun at:

  • Took photos with the wax figures of famous personalities at Madam Tussauds
Posing with “Hitler” and “Winston Churchill” life-like wax figurines at Madam Tussauds
  • Snapped pictures of the renowned Big Ben clock tower, London ‘Eye’, Tower of London and viewed the famous Tower Bridge London which has really breath-taking scenery

Posing with the picturesque Tower Bridge of London

  • Witnessed the exciting “Changing of Guards” ceremony at the Queen’s residence at Buckingham Palace
  • Stroked and fed at close-range, the squirrels, swans, birds and other animals which were roaming freely in the picturesque and peaceful Hyde Park

Feeding the free-ranging birds at Hyde Park

Went on non-stop shopping sprees at the must-go Oxford Circus shopping belt in London which has all the famous stores you can name like Topshop, FCUK, Zara as well as UK-specific stores like Primark which has really really cheap goods.
Marvelled at the five floors of toys at Hamley, a gigantic Toy store in Oxford Circus which has many fascinating and photo-worthy Lego constructions of the British royalty, super-heroes and so on.

Posing with “Queen Elizabeth” at Hamleys – giant toystore
  • Wowed at the superiorly high-class d├ęcor at the prestigious Harrods Store in Knightsbridge, a department store well-known to be frequented by the wealthy and famous
  • Posed with the well-known Platform 9 ¾ and Luggage Cart signs at the King Cross’s Station which were filmed in the Harry Potter movie. 

Harry Potter Luggage Cart at King Cross Station!
  • Watched a musical “Singing in the Rain” at Palace Theatre in the renowned Picadilly Circus district of London where the arts and theatre reign
  • Took in the amazing exhibits and relics from the extensive British Museum
  • Went to the Arsenal Stadium and took pictures of the soccer emblems
  • Bought loads of London souvenirs from Camden Market – equivalent of a ‘pasar-malam’ in Singapore
Camden Market - London's "Pasar-malam"

And here are the serious things they did:
  • Attended Marketing, Business Analytics, Programming and Entrepreneurship lessons at University College London
  • Visited UK companies like Global Action Plan and DLKW Lowe Advertising agency
  • Conducted presentations to the UK Programme Director, Mr Richard Pettinger on topics from Marketing, E-Learning, Business Analytics and Entrepreneurship. Mr Richard was so impressed with the Entrepreneurship group that he commented, “The quality of your presentation is so substantial that some of my Masters course students cannot match up to you”.
Attending Marketing Lessons at UCL with the undergraduates

Presenting their Entrepreneurship project to the UCL Programme Director

Besides these, the students also experienced many facets of London during their stay – how is it like to take the Tube and bus there, tasting what is known as “Traditional Fish and Chips”, knowing which side of the escalator to keep to etc. It was a really enriching and memorable experience for them all!

Trying out authentic Fish and Chips with vinegar at Liverpool Street

ps. There will be more blog entries written from the point of the view of the students to come. Look out for them in the next few weeks! :)

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