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“It's true that there really is no substitute for experience. The knowledge and experience I learned is much more important than most things that I could have learned from a book.”
I have traveled with the School of Business at GMercyU before, to London and Paris, so I was eager to return to London, this time with new eyes. The first time I went there, I was a tad nervous when I arrived because of the shock of being in a foreign nation. I had no fears of going again. I was very excited to see some of the cultural aspects on London that I didn't pick up the first time I went.
I was also extremely excited to go to Scotland. I thought the timing we had for our visit to Scotland could not have been any better since Scotland just very narrowly voted (3%) to remain in the United Kingdom.
Some of the highlights from the trip were just walking around the cities and experiencing people in their natural environment. There is a lot to learn about a city by its landmarks and tourist locations; but you have to look at the people to get a better view of the city. Going to local restaurants and talking to its citizens helps give you a better understanding of everything as a whole.
My favorite part of our whole trip had to been when we went to Westminster Abbey and we were reunited with my favorite tour guide, Keith. It was just so incredible to be in the historic church while Keith gave his tour. He gave his point of view about every situation, such as when he was outside the church after Princess Diana's funeral. Keith was full of interesting facts that I never would have known. When we saw Oliver Cromwell's grave, it was not only interesting that he was only buried for a short period of time but it was incredible when Keith told us the reason why.
In London, the price of the tube went up in January and the rate increased by a higher rate than the rest of their typical expenses. The incredible thing about this is that the citizens did not seem upset in the slightest. Their mindset on the matter was “if that's what they need to do, then that's what they need to do.” Their culture is very different than ours and it was very eye opening to experience that first hand.
It's true that there really is no substitute for experience. In order to really understand European culture, you have to go and experience it firsthand. The knowledge and experience I learned is much more important than most things that I could have learned from a book. You really have to go there and immerse yourself in their culture to really understand their values and belief system.