Student-Alumni Dinners!

Last month, 13 members of the Notre Dame Club of United Kingdom – London hosted a series of dinners for London Undergraduate Program and London Law Centre students.  The dinners provided students with the opportunity to network and meet friendly faces in London, hear advice and stories of life in London, and eat a delicious meal!  Read on for some fantastic comments:

“So tonight I attended one of the alumni dinners at a local family’s house.  Amy Neeb hosted me and three other students for dinner. It was actually one of the best nights I have had in London.  She made a great home cooked meal and even sent us home with granola bars, skippy peanut butter, homemade brownies and more.  She made dinner conversation so fun and interesting.  I guess we did too because she invited us back for round two!  It was a great taste of home with a good meal, friendly mom and a doggie who begs for scraps by the table.  I cannot wait to return and I sure hope she knows how much I appreciate it!” – Colby Hoyer (London Undergraduate Program, Spring 2014).  Check out Colby’s blog London’s Calling.

“Last night, I had dinner with Libby Bishop Shields, Director of Operations at the University of Notre Dame (USA) in England at her beautiful home in South Kensington, London.  The alumni dinner night was an extraordinary opportunity to get out of the dorm and eat a delicious home-cooked meal in great company!  Learning about Libby’s day-to-day experiences in London were extremely enlightening.  I am considering moving to London one day for work and loved hearing about her adjustment from life at Notre Dame.  It was great catching up with my peers in a new setting, and I would definitely do it again, soon.  Thank you for providing students with this wonderful opportunity.” – Nicole Sganga (London Undergraduate Program, Spring 2014)

“I had a great time at dinner last night.  Libby was kind enough to host us at her apartment last evening, and it reminded me yet again, of the how powerful the Notre Dame connection is.  I didn’t know this at the time but one of the reasons why Notre Dame is so great is because people truly care about you and want to know what/how you’re doing.  Libby and four of us students were able to get a dialogue going about what we are doing and what we want to do, how we’re liking the London program and what can be improved in.  Apart from the delicious home-cooked food and the entertainment of her adorable daughter, Chloe, Libby shared some of her wisdom with us.  I thoroughly enjoyed my evening and definitely think we should organize similar events more often.” – Charitha Isanaka (London Undergraduate Program, Spring 2014)

We look forward to organizing more dinners with the generous alumni hosts next semester!

Diversity on Your Doorstep and Embracing the Unexpected: Travel in Europe with Andy Steves

Travel Workshop by Andy StevesA big thanks to Andy Steves, founder of travel company WSA Europe, who last night gave a talk to LUP and law students about how to make good travel amazing travel.

Andy, who studied abroad on the Rome program in 2008 and grew up touring around the world to visit his travel guru father, Rick Steves, drew on his own experiences to demonstrate that traveling and living abroad is about more than just seeing the sites.

With the help of some amusing slides (including Santa Claus with a donkey), and personal anecdotes, the talk focused on learning from both good and bad experiences, appreciating cultural differences, and using them to broaden your mind and challenge your views, and getting involved with the locals.  The students were encouraged to venture out of the tourist areas, take a stab at the local language or accent, take part in the traditions and customs, try the local dish, and make connections through their hobbies both here in London and abroad.Andy Steves Presenting

The talk also touched on practical advice when traveling, including where to look for accommodation and transportation.

WSA Europe organizes guided weekend and longer break trips around Europe for American students, including visits to the Swiss Alps, Italy, and Berlin.  For more information go to the website.


Photos by Emily Grassby, Communications and Planning Specialist

A triple bill of London Undergraduate Program events

Next week will see not two, but three London Undergraduate Program events taking place:

Flyer for Chris Renner lectureChris Renner, President of Helios Partners Europe, starts the week with an Alumni-Student lecture on “London and the Olympic Games: An Historic Journey“.

A Notre Dame alum, with a strong international background and a successful track record in marketing some of the world’s biggest sporting events, Chris Renner is one of the industry’s most experienced executives. Having developed marketing and sales programs for sports properties as diverse as the Olympic Games, Asian Games, and Major League Baseball, Chris has worked and delivered on projects in Europe, Asia and the United States, and has had a 20 year career marketing the Olympic Games, beginning with the IOC’s TOP program in 1991.

Students and alumni wishing to attend should should email to reserve a seat. Please put “Renner Talk” in the subject line.

This will be followed on Tuesday by a “Flashpoint” with Professor Robert Schmuhl on “Easter 1916”

Flashpoints is a series of informal discussions for small groups of students led by LUP faculty on areas of faculty expertise linked to urgent social developments and controversies around the world.

Professor Schmuhl is a leading authority on the Irish 1916 Easter uprising against British rule and the role of print media in the ways this tragic event was represented in Ireland, Britain, and the United States. This is a rare opportunity for student interested in the history of Anglo-Irish-US relations, past and present.

Wednesday evening will see a world music concert in Conway Hall’s Student Activity Centre. The world acoustic music of Melange spans a huge range of styles from the Gnawa music of the south Moroccan desert, popular North African rai and chaabi songs, exotic Middle Eastern and Turkish melodies and improvisations, through Central Asia, and across to the fiery Tango of Argentina and the street Choro of Brazil. All their music is given fresh arrangements, and much space for jazz- influenced improvisations. This diversity of styles is brought together by the backgrounds and musical interests of the band’s members and a shared love of acoustic music, interest in music around the world, and improvisation.

This concert is part of the LUP “Music in London” class, and all LUP students are warmly invited to attend. No advance booking required.

Back from break with a bang

Richard BlancoThe London Undergraduate Program has come back from break with a bang, welcoming students back from their travels with a pair of high-profile events.

Ken Dye conductingLast night saw Cuban-American poet, Richard Blanco read and discuss his work in a Conway Conversation with an audience of enthusiastic students, not just from the London Undergraduate Program, but also from London’s Royal Holloway.

Tonight the London Centre hosts the 2012 Alumni-Student London Lecture, with a timely visit from Notre Dame Professor of Music and Leader of Bands, Ken Dye speaking about “Music and the Olympics: A Soundtrack for Competition, Ceremony, and Celebration”.