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Local students get a taste of British life through college program

Gillilland said that the chance to study in England has helped with her major.

"I'm a government major, and SLU's London program is perfect for that field of study," Gillilland said. "Not only is it a capital city and the center of the UK government, it is also the origin of the parliamentary system and provided inspiration for the US federal system. The UK government is also very transparent, so you really get to see the system in action.

"I've already been to Parliament for debates, the Royal Courts of Justice for the 7/7 bombing inquest, and City Hall for Mayor's question time," she continued. "They have a very different political consciousness - it really adds to my perspective on American government structures, from local to national."

Hartson said that she has been able to concentrate on classes dealing with her minor, which is in performance and communication arts.

"London has a strong theater course," Hartson said. "This course is different than any other theater course I've taken at St. Lawrence because I am able to see at least one play a week. It's really amazing to see professional productions on a weekly basis. I love this course because it's given me a chance to see and discuss plays I would not have gotten the chance to see at St. Lawrence."

Hartson said that one of the challenges of studying abroad was to learn about new culture as well as life in a much, much bigger town.

"I think the two biggest surprises I have encountered so far during my study abroad experience have been the differences between U.S. culture and British culture and my ability to adjust to city life," she said. "Before coming to London, I was na ve to the many differences in culture. I thought that living here would be very similar to living in the U.S., and I was very wrong. I was probably most surprised by the littlest things, like not being able to find items in the grocery store. The tiniest things were the biggest shock, it sounds strange, but silly things like not being able to find the right shampoo were troubling."

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