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Student logs delve into thoughts, experiences on study abroad trip

Photo courtesy of Roshonda McCowan

The following are excerpts from student logs kept during the London/Manchester/Paris trip, May 16-27. Students were required to keep journals of their trip to turn in upon return. Many documented their thoughts of locations and experiences gained from the trip, while others focused on particular moments. The London/Manchester/Paris trip earned students three hours of engineering humanities credit.

Day 1, Monday, May 16:

“We began our trip by traveling from Columbia to St. Louis, where we boarded the plane and flew to Chicago. Once we arrived in Chicago, we waited a few hours and then boarded the plane (Flight AA 54), which took us to Manchester, England.”

— Nakiesha Robinson

Day 2, Tuesday, May 17:

 “We arrived in Manchester around 7:30 a.m. and got to the Hatters Hostel around 10:30 a.m. I do remember getting yelled at the airport because some people started taking pictures as soon as they got off the plane.”

— Trenisha Ford

“All excited, we took pictures of the ‘UK border’ and was then threatened by the police to delete them.”

— Randy Melloy

“Soon after arriving at the hostel, we went to a mall. The mall was outside, as well as inside. It put the malls in America to shame.”

— Mary Beth Luebbe

“Part of the group went to a small café… Ismael and I partook in Earl Grey tea, which was some of the best I ever tasted.”

— Darnell Cage

“I ordered Earl Grey tea with milk. Yet again, I made the right decision. That had to be the best tea that I have ever consumed in my entire life.”

— Ismael Wayne

“After that, a group of us went to the Manchester Museum of Science and Industry. It was kind of like the St. Louis Science Center.”

— Scott Bade

Day 3, Wednesday, May 18:

“We all set out in the rain for the University of Manchester this morning, which was a nice little walk, especially in dress clothes and shoes, which were not designed for rain or long walks.”

— Lauren Himmelberg

“I had no idea that Manchester was the birthplace of chemical engineering, quite impressive.”

— Karson Owens

“After the university, we took a bus on a very scenic drive through the countryside to AstraZeneca. We toured the facilities and learn about their research and development for new drugs. I have never realized how much R&D goes into making a new drug.”

— David Noellsch

“Afterward, we had the night to ourselves, so we went to a restaurant. Then, we experienced some of the nightlife, which apparently is great on a Wednesday for students. We met a lot of students and were able to talk to them. They were just as intrigued with us as we were with them… many of the people here have a really sarcastic humor, which is funny, but sometimes is a little uncomfortable when you are not sure how to respond to it… ”

— Jamila Burton

Day 4, Thursday, May 19

“When we arrived at Jaguar, the employees were very nice. I think that the plant of assembly was very clean and the organization that was put into throughout was also very astonishing.”

— David “D.J.” Flieg

“At Jaguar, we went inside the assembly line and saw the line from where each individual part of the car was built all the way up to the test driving and waterproofing the cars. The ironic thing is that it used robots programmed by people like me (programmers).”

— Kevin Melkowski

“Then off to the Land Rover plant. This one [was] three times as large as the Jaguar plant. After leaving, we stopped for lunch and headed to London.”

— Zach Stuart

Day 5, Friday, May 20

“Not skipping a beat, we were up and at ‘em, going to the Tower of London for the Ceremony of [the] Keys. This was quite comical because of us ended up sprinting from the Underground to the Tower of London looking like a bunch of crazy tourists.”

— Hannah McLendon

“The Tower of London was really a sight to see. After getting left behind at the tube station, I was afraid we were going to miss the [Ceremony] of the Keys. I haven’t ran like that in a long time.”

— Roshonda McCowan

“Our next corporate visit was to Cerner, today. Cerner is a company that writes programs for hospitals to keep closer tabs on patients and hospital staff. Their facility was very nice, and it was really cool to see the ‘hospital room of the future.’ I was most amazed with the programs they had to write, which took them half a year at the minimum, five years at the most, which runs thousands of lines of code.”

— Jared Vredenburg

“A quick stop to change at the hostel, and we were off to the West End to see ‘Blood Brothers’ at the Phoenix Theatre. The play was really good, but I had never heard Marilyn Monroe compared to so many things in my life.”

— David A. Porché

Day 6, Saturday, May 21

“We took a day trip to Stonehenge and Bath today, but first a few of us experienced an English breakfast, which was interesting. They serve baked beans on toast with eggs, sausage and bacon, which is really just fried ham. We then took a bus to Stonehenge and saw some beautiful country along the way. The boulders at Stonehenge were much more massive than I expected, and it is truly baffling that people were able to do such an amazing thing.”

— Shane Steinman

“Then we went to the picturesque city of Bath. Boy, was it gorgeous! The architecture was really pretty, and the whole town was very picturesque… We toured the Roman baths, which were really neat. I could just imagine being back in those times with all the gorgeous stonework and statues.”

— Kayla Healy

“I didn’t want to leave at all. I want to retire there one day. However, super excited for a full day of free time tomorrow in London. Going to the last West Ham United futbol match of the premier league… so stoked! … Starting to fall in love with this city!”

— Travis Hencey

Day 7, Sunday, May 22

“The day was originally set as a free day, and two options were available for a group activity. Students could either attend a pub walk in London or attend a soccer game in West Ham. I chose to attend the soccer, as an avid sports fan.”

— Eric Trupiano

“The fans were very energetic, so to say, haha — passionate about their team — but it was fun.”

— Shelby Boehm

“We went on a pub walk, where we learned some history. We saw many different sites that many musicians and authors had lived. Today was a very historic day.”

— Mary Beth Luebbe

“At night, on the historic pub walk was refreshing and informative. The tour guides were entertaining and gave a lot of fun facts about that part of town.”

— Stephen Erazo

Day 8, Monday, May 23

 “Our first stop today was at Boeing. I was very interested in going on this tour since I will be interning there in St. Louis. It was really cool because I was able to see a different side of Boeing with the defense avenue, not in terms of flight, but in terms of strategy and new technology for military… It was also extremely interesting to see the diverse backgrounds of which the employees came from — even Rolla! I felt like it just reminded my of all the vast amounts of departments and thus jobs that I could potentially work in the future.”

— Kayla Healey

“In between, we went to Harrods, a world-renowned department store. This store had absolutely everything that you could think of, a one-stop-shop. I had some gelato here that was extremely delicious and went into the millionaire gallery to see famous artifacts and collectables to be sold. We also saw a store that sold spy equipment and work by various artists.”

— Darnell Cage

“That night, we attended a social event at Imperial College. We met many students studying bioengineering. We got to go on a tour of their research labs, which was interesting. After the event, several of us went to the student union and carried on our engineering-related conversations.”

— Scott Bade

“I enjoyed the opportunity to talk to other engineering students, and it made me feel good about my major and my choice of university. Mizzou definitely offers a lot of the same programs and equipment as Imperial and the other schools we visited… The students were friendly to us, and I enjoyed talking to them about their studies.”

— Stephen Erazo

Day 9, Tuesday, May 24

“We came back to Imperial College to listen to some of the students and their research projects. One of them was actually [an] American who went to Purdue University. They had a couple of brain projects and one electrochemistry project. Then off to find something to eat. Picture 30 Americans in a Subway all ordering on one bill… Went to the Natural History Museum to see the primates and DINOSAURS!!!! And of course, I had to see The Vault… After that, we walked and took the train to Kings Cross station (where Platform 9 ¾ is located) and got on the train to Paris.”

— Trenisha Ford

Day 10, Wednesday, May 25

“… we ended up in Versailles. This place was incredible. I could have spent two- to three-days here. The gardens were incredible. It was just awe-inspiring to be there.”

— Randy Melloy

“This morning, we took the metro to a train station and hopped on a train to Versailles. The Palace of Versailles was absolutely beautiful! Everything was so ornate and beautifully decorated. We met everyone at the hotel to travel together to the Eiffel Tower.”

— Tia Berg

“The Eiffel Tower was another spectacle that pictures can’t do justice. Every picture we took looked Photoshopped. I still don’t believe I was there in person. The view from the top was amazing. It literally looked like a postcard. It all seemed unreal.”

— Karson Owens

“The Eiffel Tower is gorgeous at night all lit up, and it is really neat when, on the hour, they do the crazy flickering type lights. I took a lot of pictures, but the Eiffel Tower is just one of those things you have to see for yourself.”

— Lauren Himmelberg

Day 11, Thursday, May 26

“We started by going on a walking tour of downtown Paris… My favorite stop of the tour was to see Notre Dame. The church was beautiful and had hundreds of intricately carved statues all around that all told a story. Our tour guide gave us a lot of cool facts about Paris that only a true local would know.”

— Scott Gregory

“After the walking tour, we went to the Louvre. I was totally shocked. I had no idea how massive this place was. We were only able to see one wing, and we were there for three hours. I was able to see the Mona Lisa and other famous pieces of art.”

—Jacqui Lizenby

“After we had our full of historic masterpieces, we boarded the Métro and headed for the Champs-Élysées, the main shopping street in Paris and the home of the famous Arc de Triomphe. We shopped around here for a while before making our way back to the hotel. We met up to grab some dinner and then some of us decided to spend out last evening on the Eiffel Tower lawn. This was a great decision. It was beautiful and made for a great last day.”

— Zach Stuart

Day 12, Friday, May 27

‘… As home approaches, our voyage slowly ends

But the French have another word simply deemed, ‘Fin.’”

— Ismael Wayne