By: Nadiya Yerich, EC Scholar and Honors College Sophomore
Dear Honors College Family,
I am having a great time in London! So thankful that the Bate Foundation covered this study abroad! I left for Europe last Friday, June 5. I flew with another friend who is on the study abroad trip with
me to Iceland and then to England. Iceland was absolutely gorgeous! We
had a 16-hour stopover, so we decided to spend the night in a hostel
and had booked a trip to the Blue Lagoon the next day. The Blue Lagoon is a geothermal spa in Reykjavik (a main city in Iceland), and the waters are a bright blue. The temperatures were 98 to 102 degrees Fahrenheit for thewater, and it was awesome! Apparently, the waters are supposed to have healing powers relative to skin problems.
The next day we flew to London. We have seen and done so much already!
The official study abroad is only 13 days long, but Ms. Vail-Smith and
Dr. Chaney really packed in a lot. So far, I have seen more sights than
I can count. The first day, my friend and I went on a free 3-hour
walking tour that led us around Buckingham Palace, a bunch of parks,
Westminster Abbey, museums and monuments, the Big Ben (which is
actually not referring to the tower, but the bell inside it!), and
Parliament. With the study abroad group, we have been on the London
Eye, seen the musical Billy Elliott, had a traditional English dinner
the first night we were here, and took a day trip to Cambridge.
From June 7 until yesterday, we had been doing site visits to the
health organizations around London and Cambridge. I have been learning
SO much about the English healthcare system and the NHS! It’s
incredible how the wonderful public health programs they have here
would be so much harder to run in the US because of bureaucracy. For
instance, there is one organization partnering with Public Health
England (PHE) called Change 4 Life, which is founded under the general
idea that children will ultimately be healthier in life given a good
start to life. Therefore, the program focuses on tackling childhood
obesity. The way they are doing this is incredible! They have partnered
with Disney, and send free packs out to any family that wants one. The
idea is that a child will get to select what ”team’ they want to be on
(i.e. Frozen, Monsters, etc.) and then they will get sent a team
pack. In the pack will be a pedometer, a calendar with stickers on it
for every day you exercise, a stopwatch, cards, etc. Then on TV, they
have “10 Minute Shake Ups,” based off of the fact that you need 60 or
more minutes of exercise a day. However, for someone who only gets 10
minutes a day, 20 is great! So they do a 10 minute shake up throughout
the day, hopefully getting to 60 or more, and these kids get
competitive with it and try to get their team to win by exercising more!
It’s so simple that it’s brilliant.
Hope you all are doing well!!