It’s a Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood: So Explore The British Museum!

Roughly 3 blocks from the hostel we’ll be staying in London is one of the most famous Museums in Europe, the British Museum. Your classes might not get to it, but you’ll have every chance in the world to see it on your own or with friends, and with the price tag of FREE and only a 5-minute walk separating it from your bed, it won’t be difficult to make it there.

It has some of the most famous artifacts in the world that scholars have spent their lives writing about and studying, and it holds plenty of pieces of history that you’re familiar with whether you know it or not. If you go to Athens over Acceleration (Which you should!) you can go up on to the Acropolis and see the famous Parthenon, but you won’t see the beautiful carvings that adorned its frieze during the lifetimes of Socrates and Alexander the Great. They are in London, arranged in a display set to scale of their former Greek home, 5 minutes from your hostel, and you can see them at eye level for free. A full temple has been moved and reconstructed within the museum, full caverns of wall carvings are set up in long hallways for you to explore, the Rosetta Stone itself is on display, and countless other priceless world-famous artifacts are yours for the viewing at absolutely no cost to you.

When I was a student on the Catalyst program, I went in to the British Museum 4 different times, for only about an hour each time, but when it’s free to enter and so close to home it was totally doable for me to just pop in by myself or with friends to check out a different wing of the museum. Whether you’re interested in art, history, and culture, it’s a place that is certainly worth at least an hour of your time. I know I’ll be going back again on my own time this summer!

Owen, Catalyst ’17, Catalyst Coordinator ’18 and ’19

Leave McDonalds in the States!

What’s MacDonald’s?

All over Europe you stumble across food markets. You may walk around a corner and smell foods from around the world. This is your opportunity to overindulge in foods you may never have the opportunity to try again!

The Borough Market in London was one of my favorite places to find an array of different foods. Not only did I have the world’s greatest duck sandwich, but I also tried things I never would have elsewhere, such as squid. The world of food is at your fingertips when you are abroad.

Some of the best mistakes I made during the Catalyst 2017 adventure were eating multiple deserts in one day. In Paris, there are bakeries, crepe stands, and gelato shops on every corner. It is difficult to pass them all up. It is hard to find any of these delicacies in the US. When you’re in Paris, it is respectful to try and order your food in French. Most of the time, they will be pleased with your effort. They will then speak in English because they can spot Americans from a mile away.

In Germany, you will experience a beer garden. This was a Midwestern’s dream come true: beer, brats, and potato salad. It doesn’t get much better than this. I never knew such a place existed.

Friendly tip: if you are hesitant about trying something new ask a fellow catalyst member if they would like to experience the new food together. It’ll help you both save money and you both get the experience of trying something new!

PLEASE try and limit on The Catalyst the amount of food you choose that you can easily eat in the US! Embrace being in Europe by diving into their culture and trying new things. Try ALL the things, especially the desserts. Besides, calories do not count when you’re traveling. Right?

Missy T.

Catalyst Coordinator, ’18