Down here in the Student Life office we could not have been more delighted to discover that tomorrow, Friday 1st July, is Canada Day and that it is going to be celebrated with a huge party in the heart of our great metropolis -Trafalgar Square, no less! London will host the largest celebration outside Canada’s borders of it’s 144th birthday, with a line-up of events including demonstrations of cooking, hockey and a chance to meet the Mounties, interspersed with a few renditions of ‘Oh Canada!’ Really couldn’t be more Canadian, could it? PLUS, if you get there at 12.30, you get to join in ‘Oh my Darling.’ Sounds like it will be a hoot, and the events and live music last well into the evening, so if you’re a departing Summer program student you can take this chance to join in the fun and add ‘ Canada Day in London, England’ to your Summer 2011 memory bank: click here for more information.
Students from the British Music & the Media summer course met a musical legend recently, when Glen Matlock, from the original Sex Pistols line-up, visited Faraday House.
The students – who are exploring key ‘scandals’ that brought British musicians into conflict with the print and broadcast media – listened to Glen’s personal reminisces: from growing up in Britain in the 1960s (and the cultural impact that had upon his world view) to memories of meeting Paul Cook and Steve Jones at Malcolm McLaren & Vivenne Westwood’s London fashion store, joining their band, re-christening it the Sex Pistols and recruiting John Lydon (aka Johnny Rotten).
Students married their own studies of the ‘Pistols and the media to Glen’s discourse about the political and generational divide that existed in the 1970s and the way the media responded to the arrival and popularity of punk. He recalled, in entertaining detail, appearing on ITV’s Today programme with Bill Grundy (in which Lydon and Cook swore), the media furore that followed and reflected upon the personal pressures of being at the cross-hairs of the news media’s focus and the contrasting reputation the group had attained in the popular music press of the day.
This post was written by Jacqueline Springer, Adjunct Professor at Syracuse University London for Race, Gender & the Media, The Bandier Program, British Music & the Media and Musical Mapping
We have had a few queries from students curious to know if they can claim back the 20% VAT that is automatically added on to the cost of most goods purchased in the UK. The answer is ‘yes you can!’ BUT there are quite a few restrictions. For example, the type of goods you can claim back on are limited (we can’t imagine that many of you are taking home boats, for example) and you can only claim back the tax on goods purchased in shops that are members of the voluntary VAT Retail Export Scheme, so you need to check that at the point of purchase. There is also a certain amount of paper work to be completed. If you are not deterred by all this – maybe you have ‘unmounted gem stones’ you want to take home! – then click the link here for more information.
If you’re roaming the streets of London and need a taxi, the LDNtaxi app – available now in the app store – calculates your position using GPS and alerts the nearest taxi driver that you’re looking to hail a cab. You can then watch in real-time as the cab approaches your location, and a confirmation page displayed in the app proves to the driver that you are indeed the passenger that electronically hailed their cab.
As this app was only unveiled last week, the developer is still in the process of soliciting the participation of more cab drivers – but early response from both passengers and drivers has been very positive.
The app is free at the moment – snatch it up while it’s still a steal!
Just down the road from Faraday House at the Aldwych is Somerset House, home to many open-air events and worth exploring in and of itself. Right now, you can see an exhibition by Chinese artist Ai Wei Wei – sadly now detained in China. For more news on this exceptional man, click here.
You can currently see an exibition of his Zodiac Heads at Somerset House: here’s what their website has to say:
Connecting with Heathrow via Heathrow Connect and (licensed!) Cab services
As well as using the Picadilly Line tube service and the somewhat more expensive but more luxurious and rapid Heathrow Express (from Paddington) to get to Heathrow Airport, you can also use the Heathrow Connect. We have found that many students are unaware of this great service, so we are seizing the chance to tell you about it!
The Heathrow Connect service leaves London Paddington at regular intervals and costs less than half of what it pays to travel via Heathrow Express (£8.50 rather than £18). While it takes twice as long (30 mins as opposed to 15), it is still a generally reliable and comparatively quick way of getting to Heathrow.
If you are going to a different London airport, you can click here to go to a great website which hosts a wealth of travel information including the Heathrow Connect serice. If you can’t open the link there, copy and paste this to your browser http://www.londontoolkit.com/mnu/london_airports.htm.
If you decide to get a taxi to the airport we suggest a company called Keen Cars. They offer a slight reduction on rates to SU students. Their number is 020 8299 4455 and the Syracuse code is BAR001. Their website is http://www.thekeengroup.co.uk/. Given that they provide a stress free door to door service and that you can split the cost with other students, it might be a rather nice way to start your journey so it wouldn’t hurt to phone for a quote!
You’ll find more information on this and transport options to other London airports on the Transport to London Airports section of our website’s Travel Advice page.
FREE Luggage Storage at Faraday House
Faraday House will provide storage for your luggage in if you are traveling after the end of your program. If you want to leave your stuff YOU MUST SEE RUSTEM, our Chief Security Officer, or one of his team at Faraday House to sign it in and sign it out when you collect it. You can come and collect your bags during the hours the Center will be open. (Clearly there is not much point pitching up here when it is closed!!) Office hours were included with the orientation packs you received when you came to Faraday House.
REMEMBER: YOU MUST SIGN YOUR LUGGAGE IN AND OUT AND YOU LEAVE IT AT YOUR OWNRISK!
Also: Please remember that we ask students to donate items for next semester’s rummage room (towels, beddings, cutlery etc). If you want to pass on items for particular students who are joining us next semester, you will need to CLEARLY label and package it so we know that it mustn’t be added to general rummage stuff!
Wales Adventure Weekends
“This place is amazing, everyone was so friendly. Coasteering ROCKS! This is a place and time I’ll never forget.”
Looking for some excitement? Try coasteering – climb, swim and jump into a whole new world as you negotiate the rocky coastline at sea level, or try sea kayaking – explore the beautiful coastline by kayak; paddle through natural rock arches and into sun-dappled caves. Surfing – ride clean Welsh waves on idyllic sandy beach breaks; with a little luck and some help from our friendly instructors you’ll be standing in no time!
Need some peace and quiet? Hike on the spectacular coastal trail and watch the sea birds, seals and the wild Atlantic Ocean inBritain’s only coastal National Park.
At Preseli Venture you’ll enjoy amazing activities and stay at the 5 star Preseli Venture Eco Lodge, your very own party and chill-out venue – with a private bar and pool table, delicious home-cooked food, a bonfire area for nights out under the stars and just a short walk through the bluebell woods to our local beach – all set in the beautiful and stunning scenery of the Pembrokeshire coastline in Britain’s only coastal National Park.
You do not need any previous experience and you do not need to be particularly outdoorsy…you just need to want to escape from your daily routine for one of the best weekends of your UK experience!
Cost: £199 April – November 2011
Includes 3 half-day activities. Choose 2 of the following adventure activities:
*Coasteering – a wild coastal adventure where you rock scramble, swim and cliff jump your way around this amazing coastline!
And your 3rd activity is a beautiful Coastal Hike.
The trip package includes all your meals (home cooked!) and comfy accommodation from Friday night to Sunday afternoon as well as fully qualified instructors and equipment for all the activities.
Please note that the cost of the trip does not include travel to and from Wales. Contact Preseli Venture on 01348 837709, e mail email@example.com or check out the website www.preseliventure.co.uk to get a ‘Travel Information Sheet’ which will tell you all you need to know about travel times and prices.
For further details on the weekends visit the Preseli Venture website on http://www.preseliventure.co.uk/study-abroad-students/
So many of you have come up to tell me about how much you loved Greenwich, where we ended up last week after our tour of London. Transport links to Greenwich these days are great – you can go there by tube(to North Greenwich), by train from Charing Cross or London Bridge to Greenwich or even by riverboat! Why not make a day of it?
You may not know this but 150 years ago Greenwich was home to the biggest gathering of street entertainers in Britain. It was shut down for being too unruly (yay!!!!!!). Fabulously, it has a high-octane festival on SUNDAY “26TH JUNE, with the heart-stopping Circus of Gravity which promises to transform the sedate Monnumetn Gardens into a tumbling riot of physical theatre, says the Times. What’s more it’s FREE!!! What’s not to love? It is all part of the
GREENWICH AND DOCKLANDS INTERNATIONAL FESTIVAL
June 24-July 2
Call 02083051818 or go to http://www.festival.org for more details!
Summer students: if you’re planning to take any overnight trips outside of London, you MUST fill out SU London’s easy, breezy travel form.
The form is not meant to dissuade you from travelling abroad, but rather to make sure we know where in the world you are should an emergency arise.
Our travel form couldn’t be easier to fill out: simply visit this page on our website and fill in the relevant fields. If you’re travelling with a group of students, your group may fill out one joint form.
Please bookmark the travel form and let us know your travel plans!