City of Literature

There are so many things I want to say about Oxford, but so little time to say them!

I guess I will first give some interesting facts I have learned about the city and university. Oxford has more published authors per square mile than any other city in the world. These include Lewis Carroll, C.S. Lewis, Tolkien, Percy Shelley, and Jonathan Swift. Perfect place to study literature! Many scenes from Harry Potter were also filmed here.

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I’m on my second day at Oxford now and it’s really great! I had orientation yesterday and met my ‘tutor’ and classmates. Everyone is really nice and from all different parts of the world. I’ve met people from Germany, France, Denmark, Ukraine, Ireland, Australia, Luxembourg, and more!

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Harry Potter studio tour and the Opening Ceremony!

I’m on the bus to Oxford right now and there’s free wifi! Yay!

So let’s see… On Friday I dedicated the whole day to going out to Leavesden studios to see where the Harry Potter films were made. The studio is in a little town called Watford, a short train ride from central London. Then a special shuttle bus takes you over to the studio. (There were pesky twin redheaded boys and their little sister on my bus and I was convinced they were the Weasleys.)

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Behind the Gates of Buckingham Palace!

So yesterday I got to stand inside the gates of Buckingham Palace during the changing of the guard (which not many people are allowed to do)!

One of my roommates, Kathy, is leading a troop from Ann Arbor and she arranged for them to stand inside the gates. Apparently there is an application process and only girl scouts and boy scouts are allowed to do it. I had been planning on going to the changing of the guard, too, so Kathy tried to get me in with her troop. The only problem was that they are very strict about being in uniform, and I didn’t bring mine with me. But the guard was very nice and let me in anyway! (When he let us in he said, “The Queen has just put on the kettle!”. So cute!)

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Olympic madness

The past two days have been awesome! I will probably have to divide this post into two due to the overwhelming amount of awesome.

Yesterday I got up early to go on a tour around the Olympic park. Since we didn’t have tickets to the games we could only see the venues from afar, but the tour was still interesting. Our guide emphasized how the location of the park was meant to rebuild that area. The area was very industrial and the first thing I saw out of the tube station was a big abandoned building. It seemed like the success and shininess was contained to the park, but our guide said it brought work to 21% of Stratford’s population, so that’s good.

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