London living: a semester across the pond


London may solely represent the location of this year’s Olympic games for many, but for some BYU students, London was a home away from home this past year.

Kennedy Rushing, a sophomore studying nursing from Vancouver, Wash., was one of these students. For her, the choice to go to London was an easy one, as it encompassed everything she wanted in an international experience.

“London was a great match because they speak English,” she said. “(There was) no language barrier and still it had everything I wanted in a program with history, culture and sightseeing.”

London is just one of many available destinations for students wanting to do one of BYU’s study abroad programs. The David M. Kennedy Center for International Studies strives to provide students with a quality international academic experience where students are immersed in another culture and are able to get outside of the classroom to learn.

Kennedy Rushing with two iconic symbols of London. Photo courtesy of Kennedy Rushing.

In the spring 2012 London study abroad program, students were enrolled in a British literature and history class. These classes fulfilled general education requirements for many students, but for some these classes meant much more. Madeleine Kmetzsch, a junior from Salt Lake City, has a passion for art that only grew with seeing famous works in person.

“I loved in London that my art history books came to life,” Kmetzsch said. “I was living and experiencing for myself what I had studied. I thought the pictures in my book were beautiful, but nothing could have prepared me for the astounding wonder the originals possess.”

The National Gallery and the Tate Modern are just two of many museums in London. Along with the history and art, students also enjoyed local cuisine and theater productions. London is home to the recently opened Harry Potter set tour, where people can walk the sets where the films were created.

“I think it’s safe to say it was a life-changing experience,” Rushing said.

Students in the London study abroad program were able to earn college credit while experiencing the many different aspects of London with an average of 40 other BYU students living under the same roof. BYU has its own London Centre in the west end of the city just across the street from Hyde Park.

Spencer Witt, a junior from Salt Lake City studying international relations, enjoyed his time in London and said it was an experience he could never forget.

“I would recommend a study abroad to everyone,” Witt said. “Not only is it an enriching educational experience to learn in a different country, but you see so many awesome things and meet so many amazing people. It was the best. I wish I could go back and do it again.”

For more information on the London study abroad and other destinations, visit

Print Friendly, PDF & Email