On March 15, six students headed to London on a Tri-S trip.
The trip was designed for students in the global communication class taught by Stefanie Leiter, Assistant Professor of public relations. Leiter accompanied the students along with her husband, Dave.
“London is a location that is easy to acclimate to quickly, because they speak English,” Leiter said. “It was important for our new class to travel abroad as a class but for many, it was their first trip outside the U.S.”
Leiter said that London offers the opportunity to learn from a lot of different cultures, because it is a large international hub.
“Any sort of learning is better when experienced,” Leiter said when asked how traveling and culture can further a career in communications. “When studying different cultures, traveling to another country helps you use all your senses to learn their culture. For communication professionals, it is especially important because you need to express messaging to a variety of audiences.”
One of Leiter’s most memorable moments from the trip was traveling outside of London to the city of Bath.
“We took a day trip to Bath about 90 minutes from London so we could have more time taking in the sites,” she said. “The culture is completely different and the pace of life is slower than London.”
Spending the day with the students and getting to know them were some of Leiter’s favorite moments.
“In Bath, we ate as a group at Sally Lunn’s, the oldest house in Bath from the 1600s,” Leiter said. “We spent a few hours at dinner and talked about the trip, the city of Bath and our experience at the Roman Baths. It was a great day and incredible meal.”
This trip to London was Leiter’s second Tri-S trip. In August of 2017, she led a trip to London for Vacation Bible School with the Caribbean Church of God. Leiter strongly recommends students to attend these trips.
“During college, your life is not full of the normal responsibilities of adulthood,” she said. “With the generous donations through the Tri-S program, students are traveling at a huge discount. The leaders genuinely love getting to know students on trips as well. This is your chance to discover the world.”
This trip was sophomore public relations major Morgan Hale’s first time traveling out of the U.S. She was surprised that the culture of London was different than she expected.
“I had never experienced long plane rides and layovers like that before,” Hale said. “I also expected the culture to be a lot like the U.S.”
Hale had researched London in the global communication class prior to the trip, and from what she found, she thought the country would be less diverse than the U.S.
“I ended up seeing a lot of diversity, and a lot of different languages were spoken there,” she said. “Many people spoke French, and I actually met some girls from Australia when we went to Hillsong Church.”
Hale said that even though she doesn’t know exactly what she wants to with public relations yet, she knows that this experience will benefit her career in the future.
“This experience made me feel like I could travel with a career in public relations,” she said. “Careers in public relations are everywhere, so it gave me a taste of what that would be like.”
Hale has lived in Anderson her whole life, so the city life was definitely a change for her.
“I had never been on the tube before, so that was very confusing,” she said. “The cars drove on the other side of the street, and a lot of the mannerisms of the people there were different.”
The students saw many new things on the trip, but Hale said her favorite part was seeing St. Paul’s Cathedral in the city of Bath. She also loved seeing Windsor Castle and different little markets in the area.
“At the Roman Baths, there were big bodies of water connected to hot springs that the Romans used to take baths in,” she said. “We actually ended up drinking the bath water there which was gross, but really fun.”
London has many historical areas that are older than places you’d see in the U.S.
“Everything in St. Paul’s Cathedral was so historic and beautiful,” Hale said. “The cathedral had some of the kings and queens in it, and when we went to the top of the stairs there, we could see the whole city of London.”
Tri-S, which stands for study, serve and share, gives students the opportunity to learn and serve in cross cultural settings. Some trips for this next summer include South Korea, Germany, Israel and Ghana.