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Postcard from London: John Bannon'17

December 4, 2015

Name: John Bannon

Hometown: Oak Park, Ill.

Class Year: 2017

Major: Psychology with an anthropology Minor  John Bannon PC 1

 John Bannon takes in a Premier League football match. 


Where are you studying abroad? Why did you choose the UK and your program?

I am studying in London at Goldsmiths University. I chose Goldsmiths because it has a reputation for being hip and forward thinking. It is in a neighborhood that’s  very up and coming and downtown London is very accessible.

John Bannon PC 2

John enjoys some fish and chips.


What is the best meal you’ve had abroad?

I have a cousin who lives in northern England in a town called Harrogate. Harrogate is much smaller than London. I visited her and she took me to the local pub. I had the grilled lamb that came with chips (fries) and peas. Of course I washed it down with a nice pint. For dessert I was instructed by my cousin to get the sticky toffee pudding with ice cream and custard. It is not pudding in the American sense. Pudding has a very loose definition in England and in this case it was a cake made with a toffee flavored batter, pieces of dates,served with either ice cream or custard. If you go to the right pub, they do both. The combination of the sweet cake and ice cream would be good enough for some, but when smothered in warm custard, it takes it to a whole new level. It leaves you stuffed, yet still wanting more.  The ambiance of being in a small quaint pub in a farming town in Northern England was what really made that meal memorable. A  pulled pork sandwich I had on Brick Lane street market is up there as well.

What is the biggest difference between Beloit and your host city/university? Similarity?

Definitely being in city environment is a big change from the cornfields of Beloit and that definitely has its perks but also has some downsides. Goldsmiths has a similar vibe to Beloit in that students are big into the arts and social awareness. For the most part, professors  seem laid back and very invested in the well being and success of their students.

What has been your proudest/most exciting moment abroad?

One night during my first week here I was coming home on the ”Tube” (London’s subway system) and I didn't fully hear/couldn't understand the announcement that the train would skip my stop of New Cross Gate and be continuing on to the one after. I stepped off the train and immediately knew this was not New Cross Gate.  After surveying the  map, I surmised that I was at the Queens Road Peckham stop. I hadn't bought a SIM card yet so I had no access to GPS, but after seeing a bus with  New Cross Gate on the front of it. I asked people who I assumed to be locals for directions. Eventually I walked for probably fifteen minutes through a neighborhood that is a little sketchy and ended up back at Goldsmiths. Not extremely exciting, but if I hadn't seen that bus and I’d gone the opposite direction, who knows what would have happened?