Wichitan ‘bureau’ goes to London

A view of Big Ben from the bus window in London. Photo by Kara McIntyre

Editor Kara McIntyre and Design Editor Justin Marquart got the experience of a lifetime — they studied abroad at Queen Mary University of London. From July 6 to Aug. 7, they learned the ins and outs of photography and graphic design in England, but in reality, they experienced so much more than that.

Kara’s highlights

  • Getting “lost” at the London Pride Parade and a random guy smacking me on the you-know-what. Definitely the last place I thought I would get groped.
  • Going into the world’s largest Lush store on Oxford Street, meeting a drag king and getting two free bath bombs. Yes, that all happened in that one store.
  • Spending 11 hours on a coach bus to get to Amsterdam, sitting next to the potent urine-smelling bathroom and near three screaming children, only to spend less than 48 hours there before traveling another 11 hours back to England.
  • Watching a live sex show. Don’t ask, just go see for yourself someday.
  • Visiting more museums and design studios than I ever wanted to in my life — but totally worth it.
  • Traveling to Italy with almost zero plans of what we actually wanted to do (just kidding, this was horrible and I strongly suggest planning ahead).
  • Seeing Pompeii, the Colosseum and the Vatican. Oh, and I got to hear the Pope speak.
  • Meeting the most famous graphic designer in the United Kingdom: Peter Saville.
  • Realizing that our American bubble is not even remotely close to how the rest of the world works.
  • How much Brits laugh at American politics — and how obsessed they are with reporting about Trump in their newspapers.
  • Spending way too much money because “it’s London.”
  • Committing myself to going back to the U.K. and Europe someday.

Justin’s highlights

  • Being able to geek/nerd out at the Making of Harry Potter World Tour in London.
  • Visiting four Italian cities — Ercolano, Pompeii, Rome and Venice — within a five-day period.
  • Visiting the wonderful city of Amersterdam.
  • Getting separated from people an having to find your way back to campus when you’re on the other side of town.
  • Learning and riding the London tube system.
  • Being able to travel around London for class instead of being in a classroom.
  • Immersing myself into their culture.
  • Getting to drink legally there since I can’t here (I’ll be 21 soon…ish).
  • Learning that I’m a person that enjoys air conditioning.
  • Learning that there are some people you just don’t travel with.
  • finding out that jet lag is a nuisance.
  • Being able to travel to places I never thought I would go to.
  • Able to cross riding on a ferry off my bucket list.
  • Learning that I have no control when it comes to shopping (R.I.P. to my bank account).
  • Visiting Pentagram, a big graphic design company.
  • Visiting a lot of museums.
  • Not having to worry about how much exercise I did because we would walk a minimum of two miles a day.