Trip to Hampton Court

If you are a fan of the Tudors Dynasty  this post might interest you.

Let us step back in time and follow the world of King Henry VIII, Cardinal Wolsey and Oliver Cromwell at this world known historic palace, Hampton Court.

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Some of the things you can see at Court are the beautiful Tudor Kitchens, the Great Hall – that still preserves the décor and immense dining table – and the Chapel Royal.

Surrounding the castle, you can get lost in the beauty of the gardens, the Great Vine, and, literally lost in the Maze.

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Hampton Court Maze via 365Tickets

Hampton Court Maze via 365Tickets

Englishmen are known for being fond of their lawns and one of the key attractions at Hampton Court are the beautiful gardens. The eccentricity and perfection of the flowers draws you immediately in, and, if you let your imagination play, you can almost feel the magic of history!

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Over 750 acres of royal parkland are boasting with sparkling fountains and gracious displays of over 200,000 flowering bulbs and there is no better place at Court to have a picnic and relax.

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There is though a rumour that circulates across the Palace.

The ghost of Catherine Howard is believed to frequent the Court’s Haunted Gallery where she was dragged back screaming to her rooms while under house arrest, being accused of adultery by King Henry VIII. Have a look around, and you might just hear the Screaming Lady!

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Henry VIII portrait

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Hampton Court offers a delightful experience into the immense world of Tudors: galleries, bedrooms, paintings, sculptures, everything you can imagine a Royal household can have, you’ll find it here!

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You can even take a cape and stroll around *feeling royal*

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If you want to visit Hampton Court Palace  you can book your tickets here.

Take my word for it, it is an amazing place to have a day out and enjoy cultural richness!

 

 

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Why study in London?

Originally posted on LinkedIn

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Following a degree in London has always been my dream.

Even from highschool, I was fascinated by the high-quality education that has been praised over the years, and eventually, I decided to pursue my dream. Being the cultural capital of the Globe, London is a metropolis that offers more than it meets the eye, and once you’ve submerged in the beautiful London world, there is no easy escape.

Coming from a country that is still in development and a small town, I realised that being a London student offers so many free things to experience and so many people to meet.

Although many people argue whether London is the most expensive city to live in or not, I tend to disagree.

The capital is a city that has higher prices than other cities, is true, but as an international student, you can still manage and have fun!  Budgeting and understanding the prices that grocery brands offer is the first thing to do. For example, as a self-supporting student, once I’ve gotten a job, I managed to keep my weekly groceries at  £15 per week.

It’s not an easy task, but once you know where to shop and that street markets offer you great deals, you’re ready to go!

I understood how important it was to come and study here from the moment I stepped inside Middlesex University.

I studied Creative Writing and Journalism, and because the world is changing at the blink of a second, I knew London is the place to be. The accessibility of information, technology and place is absolutely amazing and is only in London where you can develop a sense of responsibility and attachment.

Having peers from all around the world in my class, I have met many international students that have given me another perspective over the world,and over the boundaries that sometimes are pointless.

One of the greatest things about studying in London, as a Creative Writing student, was the fact that inspiration can be found anywhere.

Regardless if you’re enjoying the sun in the park, the view from Richmond Park, sipping your tea in St Paul’s, there is no better place to evolve professionally than London.

Universities offer a great range of activities that students can get involved, and more importantly, they offer cross-platforms for students from all the United Kingdom to know each other.

For example, I have been lucky enough to be selected as a Student Blogger last year for the Southbank Centre during the Women of the World Festival. Secondly, because, along with my friends, we’ve set up the FutureRising society at university, I have also become a FutureRising contributor. FutureRising is a creative online website that allows people from the creative industries to connect.

Overall, I believe that London has to be experienced in order to be understood. Students coming here will see that although hard-word is necessary to succeed, with the cultural immensity that London offers, things will be easier and more entertaining!

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My Thames Waltz – A River Cruise of Cultural Discovery

Imagine a river cruise on the waterways of London, gliding through picturesque landscapes dotted with skyscrapers and old buildings: an escape where the destination will be as pleasant as the journey.

On the 28th of March I had the chance to join the world of river cruising on the Thames, alongside my fellow ambassadors and, let me tell you this, it was breathtaking.

Will you join me on a trip through memories?

via ASALONDON

                                                                  via ASALONDON

Our day started of with a short, but colourful, visit at the National Portrait Gallery, in Trafalgar Square, where history meets with contemporaneity and talent is boasting everywhere. At first, finding the Gallery seemed a little complicated but after about 50 stairs and a short walk, we managed to get to our desired place.

Trafalgar Square view from The National Gallery  entrance

Trafalgar Square view from The National Gallery entrance

As you enter the National Portrait Gallery, your visual perspective is being flooded with portraits of all sorts, old, new, colourful, black & white and your breath is just simply taken away by their beauty. I am a much more simpler person, and I have to be honest, my understanding of art is not that wide. However, one thing’s drawn me in for sure: The Tudors Gallery

Words cannot even measure the satisfaction I had while being in the room with the portraits of all the Tudors, and I’ll let the pictures speak for me:

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Mary Queen of Scots

             Mary Queen of Scots

 

The Tudors

                     The Tudors

After strolling in the National Portrait Gallery, it was time for us to take off and do some City River Cruising.

Just so you know, City Cruises offers a spectacular trip on the Thames, and it’s only £9.10 for a student and your cultural experience will not only be enriched by the views but will take your breath away!

For those of you that don’t know, City Cruises:

Is a company that operates scheduled public sightseeing cruises on the River Thames in London, serving Westminster, London Eye, Tower and Greenwich piers every day (except 25 December) throughout the year. It operates the services mainly using purpose-built wheelchair-accessible ‘RiverLiner’ vessels, which have a large open top deck and enclosed lower saloon with panoramic windows and bars, backed up by some ex-Paris single-deck conservatory-style sightseeing boats.

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If you are a Harry Potter fan, with City Cruises you can actually see the school where Daniel Radcliffe ( City of London School)went, and, also enjoy an abundance of historical facts without getting bored.

Take my word for this, you’ll feel like the cruise is taking you back to time and you’ll enjoy every moment of it!

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                                        The Old City of London School. River View via Panoramio

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Our lovely Ambassador Leader, Kim Duller

Our lovely Ambassador Leader, Kim Duller

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London Eye, under heavy clouds of rain

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Enjoying the view with my friend and guest, Rita

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What would be the City Cruise without this famous view?

Just to finish off my tale about the City Cruises, I’ll let you enjoy a video that our friend, Divi Malshe (http://whatiluvv.blogspot.co.uk), created to enchant your views:

If you are interested in finding out more about the exciting things that City Cruises are offering, make sure you check their website and buy yourself a ticket!

Until next time my darlings,

Csilla xx

10 things I’ve learnt from being an international student in London

As it has been a few years since I moved to London, I have realised that being here has had a greater impact on me that I first expected.

The cultural diversity and social divergence in London is greater than I’ve ever experienced and understanding the different layers on which society works has been a metamorphic process in which I have rediscovered myself and learnt that challenges can become rewards.

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Moving out from my parents’ house has been indeed a cathartic way to discover more about my skills and accomplishments and  how to become an adult.

Is there a precise way of learning how to be an adult? No, there isn’t. But let me tell you this: You build your own strategies and tactics in life.

1.Be aware of your and other people’s needs. 

Being nice and polite is a must, but knowing when to say ‘no’ to things is vital. Understanding that everybody comes from a different cultural and social background is essential to buildings up new relationships.

2. Meals shouldn’t be just chips and take-outs.

Learning how to cook simple meals is indispensable. Your health for the following years will rely on this and there are endless, on-budget options.

3. Think outside the box, or even better, remove the box.

Don’t get follow stereotypes. People  come from very different social backgrounds and they might have other views that yours. Carefully choose your words or you might offend/ get offended by awkward situations if you don’t act with care.

Be considerate to others.

4. Create a budget but don’t forget to have fun.

As a new person to the hustle and bustle of  London, spending money on things you don’t really need may be very easy. Keep in mind what is your monthly expenditure and try not to go overboard when shopping. You might realise you’re penniless a week after your pay-check.

5. Find a part-time job.

It can be in an office, a cafe, a restaurant, walking dogs or baby-sitting. As long as it does not interfere with your studies, go for it.

If you are lucky enough, you can get a job in your desired field and as Confucius said: “Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.”

6. Find time for your inner peace.

Being a student and having a part-time job can be quite stressful and joggling between work and studies can bring you to the edge sometimes.

Find the time to relax and enjoy the day. Go on a 10 minutes walk just to relax, read a book, listen to your favourite band, Skype with a friend. You’d be surprised to see how much this can help.

7. Don’t forget about your roots.

Living in London can be quite transforming.

It is very easy to get lost in the abundance of new things or habits coming from other people and it is natural to want to experiment.

But, bear in mind everything you’ve learned from your parents and make sure you leave a print on the world.

8. Stay connected with what’s happening at home.

Although exploring London can be fun and filled with new experiences, you can lose track of what’s happening at home quite easily.

Being caught in the routine of studying and working you’ll realise you haven’t checked the local news from your country or you have even forgotten about the new elections coming up.

It’s vital to remain on track with information from home or else, when you go back, you’ll find yourself confused by the amount of things you missed out on.

9. Move on with your life and build new relationships

I understand how important are for you the relationships you have with your friends from home.

But as soon you leave, they move on with their lives – they still care about you – but they keep the party going.

And you should do the same.

Another thing, “it does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live” ( Albus Dumbledore), because you’ll end up being sad and lonely.

Get out there, meet new people and have fun!

10. Be yourself!

No matter what you do, you don’t have to live your life to please anyone.

Your decisions are yours and yours only.

No one can tell you what do and you shouldn’t be bothered by that.

It is true, you can be advised about doing certain things, but, never, ever let yourself driven by someone else’s passions.

Stay positive and learn to love yourself and people will start loving you.

Love,

Csilla

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Visit to Google campus

In a world where technology is slowly taking control over values, ethics and morals, there is a sparkle of hope from a major corporation that intents to connect the entire planet and make internet available to everybody.

Google is known worldwide.

Even from its launch in 1996, it has reformed the meaning of online surfing and the power the Internet has so that it became the leading corporation in Internet-related services and products. Not only that, but Google offers products that are accessible for everyone, such as Gmail, Google Books ,YouTube, etc.

One of the most attractive products that leads the market is YouTube, the video-sharing website that managed to bring together music from every corner of the world.

Being an LUIP Ambassador is more than just representing Middlesex University at a national level, but also enjoy some of the  bonuses  that come along ( as many of you already know!) and this time, I visited the Google Campus o  and admired the beauty of the campus, met two brilliant vloggers, Sanne Vliegenthart and Helen Anderson, and of course, had a chance to catch up with all the fellow ambassadors and mentors.

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The View from Google Garden

After exploring the beauty of Google Campus, it was time for some more serious things and we were led into a room where we were welcomed with goodies from YouTube, snacks and drinks, and of course, a masterclass about being innovative and expanding our shareability.

YouTube goodies

                    YouTube goodies

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Our mission is to organise the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.

9 Notions for Innovation:

1 • Customer Need = Creative Inspiration
2 • Ideas come from everywhere
3 • Fail quickly and learn
4 • Allow ideas to morph
5 • Creativity loves constraint
6 • Share everything
7 • Data informs decision-making
8 • Users come first
9 • A license to pursue passions

Google’s intentions are all about connecting the people from every corner of the world and making the world a better place for everyone.

The greatness of their upcoming projects is so big, that even myself couldn’t believe some of the things that can be accomplished with enough money and power. However, in a world where competition is at stake, Google knows well its market and how to deliver the general public the required products.

 

On a different note, the discussion we had with our guest vloggers was more than inspiring. As a part-time blogger myself, I understand the necessity of filling the market in the required areas, but as they said, things can get easier if given enough time and energy.

If you are currently a blogger or you are thinking about becoming one, make sure you know your market, write with passion and just be brave enough to put yourself out there!

 

Love,

Csilla

 

LUIP Ambassadors and mentors, Google staff, Sanne Vliegenthart and Helen Anderson. Many thanks for Kim Duller for this awesome photo!

LUIP Ambassadors and mentors, Google staff, Sanne Vliegenthart and Helen Anderson.
Many thanks for Kim Duller for this awesome photo!

The magic behind the London Underground

Diving into history for a little bit, today is all about the London Underground: history, development, secret locations. As an Ambassador in London Universities International Partnership, I was given the brilliant opportunity to visit one of the closed – and secret to the public – tube stations, and, truth be told, the experience was breathtaking!

Going back at least a century and a half, the idea of creating underground transport in London was more than simply a dream, it was meant to tackle the problem of congestion in the main areas of the capital. Therefore, in the early 1830s a few plans of linking London to the railways came to life, but it was only in 1843 when the first underwater tunnel opened.  The first plans of creating bigger connections and better undeground transport took life in the early 1860s and towards the end of the 1800s, London’s facade was entirely revolutionised.

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1863: A contemporary lithograph of a steam locomotive on the Metropolitan line near Paddington StationPicture: Hulton Archive/Getty Images

The desire for extension was bigger and bigger every year and London had become in the late 1800s a city that took proud in its transportation system, mainly because of the low fares and due to the speed to which citizens could commute. For example a journey on the City and South London Railway (now part of the Northern Line), from Stockwell to the City, took just 18 minutes.

Tube Firsts

  • The journey of the first Tube train took place on 9 January 1863.
  • The first Tube line was built and financed by a private company, the Metropolitan Railway.
  • The Tube’s first escalator was installed at Earl’s Court in 1911, featuring a diagonal finish to the stairway, meaning the right  foot reached the top moments before the left.
  • In 1907 a spiral escalator opened at Holloway Road.

( The Independent)

"Underground"-branded Tube map from 1908 showing the newly opened tube lines in central London

“Underground”-branded Tube map from 1908 showing the newly opened tube lines in central London

The way the underground system in London has developped is impressive and it is one of the most effective in the entire world. Here’s a documentary about the history of the Tube and how it has become the greatest tool of London:

Now, as a LUIP Ambassador, I have to say that I was lucky enough to be given the opportunity to visit one of the secret, closed off stations and have a short sight into history. Our guide, David Leboff, Principal Sponsor-Line Extensions has given us a beautiful tour of both the TFL House and the closed station. There are many rumors and books written about it, but none of them actually understand how mysterious it actually is. Filled with evidences of history, traces of events and bits and pieces of action, the station resembles of an old house with removed furniture. As you are walking in the tunnels, you can see how much it was put to use, to both transport and other secret missions and why it is vital that the general public doesn’t have acces to it.

I’d like to carry on the discussion about the station, but if I would disclose more graphic and geographical details about the it  how secret would it be?

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LUIP Ambassadors and Mentors at 55 Broadway, enjoying the view and the weather.

However, here’s some pictures I took, as a small taste of our experience! 20150124_145940

Fellow Ambassadors as we were explained further details on the line expansions

Fellow Ambassadors as we were explained further details on the line expansions

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Train Intervals at the Tfl House, as they were in the 1980s, and David Leboff explaining the signifiance of the panel

A little sneak-peak from the secret location: To the Train

A little sneak-peak from the secret location: To the Train

And right before I finish and say goodbye, another one to cover your curiosity, a classical:

Classic: WAY OUT

Classic: WAY OUT

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Always follow your dreams.

Benedict Allen at Middlesex University.

As a third year student, I need to slowly start planning my future, and what better way to get inspired than listen to Benedict Allen talk about his experience with travelling and exploring? But before I begin, let’s do a short introduction about who Benedict Allen is.

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Photography by Murdo MacLeod

Benedict Allen is a British writer, traveller and adventurer best known for his passion of travelling to remote locations and learning new survival skills from indigenous people. He has recorded six TV series for the BBC, written nine books and is also an international motivational speaker. One of the things he’s famous for is the fact that he had to eat his dog in one of the expeditions, due to harsh surviving conditions.

However, let’s not be scared by that! Benedict explained how it was his dream since childhood to become an explorer and see the world with other eyes. Ever since a child, his interest in exotic locations and customs was inspired by his father Colin Allen.  As the years went by, Benedict’s desire to go out in the world and see what it has to offer increased, making his main goal to travel across the Amazonian rainforest.

Benedict said:

After graduating [university], I worked in a warehouse for a few weeks, just to get the money I needed to travel to South America.

Everything was said and done and soon after that, Benedict found himself in the rainforest, being chased by goal miners, “third-class assassins”. As he dived deeper into the nature, he ran across a few aborigine villages, where in order to be part of the community, he needed to be initiated ( to be strong as a crocodile). After undergoing several trials, Benedict explains:

All this men were dancing and telling us to be brave. Having been through that ritual, we thought the worse was over, except, that was the better day of the initiation. After that, we got beaten with sticks at least four times a day.

The ceremony was all about bonding, all about forgetting the differences and learn to work together.

By the end [ after six weeks], we were finding a way to cope with this huge world. I was initiated into this culture.”

His journey hadn’t stopped there. He underwent several adventures with different villagers and worked with children as well and he understood he needed to be more humble after seeing how little girls had great knowledge of surviving in the rainforest and using herbs as treatments.

I’m either going to become a hunter or a [herbs] gatherer.

Gradually, after spending months in the rainforest, Benedict understood the necessity of processing his own food and things were slowly deteriorating. He started to become ill and his cautiousness was slowly fading. When things started to go wrong, he realised he needed to take challenges and try something else.

In the end, I wasn’t alone. I thought of the people who had faith in me, my parents, friends; and I survived. After seven and a half months, I pulled myself outside the rainforest in the Amazon.

Benedict Allen had not stopped there. After the Amazon expedition, he travelled all around the world in order to find new villages and understand better the functionality of new communities: Russia, Mongolia, Indonesia, Costa Rica, Papua New Guinea, the Gobi dessert . His determination and curiosity of learning new things was what kept him going.

On his webiste, http://www.benedictallen.com/, he says:

For me personally, exploration isn’t about conquering nature, planting flags or leaving your mark.

It’s about the opposite: opening yourself up and allowing the place to leave its mark on you…

That’s why, for me, listening to him was inspirational and made me understand I need to find a way of creating my future, of deciding whether a path will be right or wrong and challenging myself more. As Benedict himself said,

It’s all about finding something in yourself.

It’s about how much potential you have.

For those in the same situation as me, take a minute and think about the options you have. Are you really doing what you want with your life? If not, what would you change? Don’t let harder steps ruin your desire for a better future! Work, determination and inspiration is what makes a life truly full-filled.

Always remember, the choice of today is the reward of tomorrow!