• The Crestiad

Sophomore Expedition Leaves Lasting Impression on Student

An aerial view depicts London’s cityscape. Photo byCailaGrigoletti.

Morgan Blickley

Staff Writer

Students who traveled abroad over Spring Break on Cedar Crest College’s Sophomore Expedition to London have gained an unforgettable experience.

The Class of 2022 had been anticipating this study abroad opportunity since their destination was announced at Convocation on August 26, 2018. London did not disappoint.

“The trip beat my expectations,” Brianna Gregory, a student who participated in the Honors “History’s Mysteries” travel course, said. She enjoyed the hustle and bustle of the city and the many activities that were packed into her schedule. She added, “London overall possessed city culture through and through.”

Caila Grigoletti, who traveled with the “London As a Multicultural City” class, said that she was nervous, given the logistics of managing over one hundred people on a single journey. Nevertheless, she added, “I really loved the experience. We were given Tube tickets with unlimited rides in the inner city so we could explore London at our leisure.”

Each class section served London’s community in varied ways. Delaney Robbins, who took part in the “History’s Mysteries” course, helped to clean canals.

“It turned out to be a fun experience,” said Robbins, who enjoyed cleaning the environment for the swans that live there. “I went into a canoe with my friend and we were able to retrieve items like plastic bags, paper, an airpod, and a walking cane from the canal.”

Other groups experienced a new culture during their community service at a Sikh place of worship, called a gurdwara.

“The Sikhs at the temple run a kitchen where anybody can come and eat their food from 5 a.m. to 10 p.m.,” explained Grigoletti, who helped to serve food and roll bread dough. She also describes wearing a head scarf and observing the Sikhs’ prayer as an enlightening experience, adding that “it was so humbling to see how kind and generous strangers were to each other and us.”

Students also enjoyed their sightseeing opportunities at Westminster Abbey.

“The beautiful architecture and rich history there blew me away,” Gregory said. “I love that it was more than just a place for a religious service. It was a place to celebrate the accomplishments of the people buried there such as Mary Queen of Scots, The Unknown Warrior and many more.”

Other sites also captivated students’ interest.

“Personally, I enjoyed going to the Roman Baths,” Grigoletti said. “Just to be standing in history was a surreal experience.  My other favorite spot would be the Museum of London. From the Roman occupation to modern times, you could take a walk quite literally through London’s past.”

Overall, the trip was a transformative experience for Cedar Crest’s sophomores. In some cases, it has increased their desire to see the world.

“I can't wait until I have the opportunity to travel to another country again,” Robbins said.

For other students, this journey has been one of growth and self-reliance.

“My first time traveling out of the country without my family terrified me,” admitted Grigoletti. But through the trip, she said,

“I learned that letting go a little and trying new things does not have to be such a struggle. It gave me more confidence in myself.”

Gregory acknowledged the uniqueness of Cedar Crest’s Sophomore Expedition.

“This is such an amazing experience,” she said. “I wouldn’t have gotten this opportunity if I went to any other college.”

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