As I sit alone in the apartment that once housed nine more members of my class, I’m thinking about all of the adventures that happened over the past seven weeks. It seems like time flew by so fast. During the first week, we visited so many different firms across the city. We’ve learned so much about British politics and culture it now seems weird that we’ve never paid as much attention to our own. I wonder if when we return, we will make all sorts of social and anthropological observations about America now that we have studied a society in-depth.
While working at the TaxPayers’ Alliance I was treated to firsthand experiences with British politics as the firm is an influential lobby group. My experience there has helped me to better understand how people in politics gather and present information to back up their positions and legislative initiatives. It was truly a treat to be here in London working for a lobby group at this uncertain time in Britain’s politics. I have benefited so much from being here through the Brexit referendum and the selection of a new Prime Minister. I’ve learned so much about the British parliamentary system which presents a stark contrast to our rigid constitutionalism in the United States.
While I certainly loved working at my internship, it’s perhaps my weekends that I will remember most distinctly. I have such a vivid memory of barely arriving to our first contemporary Britain class on a Monday morning. I came into London on a train from Derby at 8:00 am. I had sneaked off there on Sunday in order to attend a music festival which featured Iron Maiden as the headline act. That was just one of the opportunities we had in this country. We spend a full weekend in Edinburgh and managed to visit several Scottish regions while there. We spent a weekend in Bath and Welles. I even was able to go horseback riding in Windsor Park last weekend while only making reservations a few days in advance. London, one of the largest cities in Europe, offers so much that we have yet to discover.
I don’t doubt that many of us will return to England as soon as we can. I do think however, that I will attempt to spend more time in the countryside while “on holiday” as they say here. While London may be great, I know there is more still to England to Great Britain as a whole.