London is a large bustling city full of rich history in every little nook and cranny. Yet, at the same time it is paving the way for the future as well in fashion, art, music, food, business, technology, science, architecture and so much more. Check out our CAPA London Blog and Instagram below to see what CAPA Londoners have to say.
In addition, read about the language divide between the US and the UK here:
Latest Posts from London
- Guy Fawkes Day: An Escape from RoutineIn this week's post, Genevieve breaks away from her routine in the city and celebrates with locals at a traditional UK event: Guys Fawkes Day. Learn about the significance of Guy Fawkes Day and what happens at the local events annually! Eventually in a big city, read more
- 5 Travel Tips for Students to Make the Most Out of Their Time AbroadIn this week's post, Jessica shares 5 practical travel tips for you to add to your list—from booking flights to trying new food—so that you can make the most of your adventures abroad! This past week was assignment week, which means we do not have classes read more
- Wearing the Poppy: Poetry and the First World WarWhat we remember The ending of the First World War (1914- 1918) will be widely commemorated on November 11th 2018. It was a global conflict that began and ended in Africa; thirty per cent of the British troops served on the Eastern Front. The conflict reshaped read more
Latest Posts on Instagram
“Multiculturalism is the co-existence of diverse cultures, where culture includes racial, religious, or cultural groups and is manifested in customary behaviours, cultural assumptions and values, patterns of thinking, and communicative styles.”
Source: The International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions November 2013
A Brief History
The first town of London was established around AD50 as an international trading post for the Roman Empire. Groups from what is now Greece, France, Germany and Italy made up much of the international population. Although nearly 2000 years have passed, London has not ceased to be a beacon for refugees, immigrants, students, and workers.
The latest 2011 London Census demonstrated London’s ever evolving nature. People vary by ethnicity, nationality, gender, age, socioeconomic statues, education, dwelling, and much more.
A few more statistics:
- Top Spoken Languages (other than English): Polish, Bengal, Gujarati, French, Urdu, and Portuguese
- Over 300 languages are spoken on London. Challenge: Count the number of languages you hear walking down the street one day. See if you reach 300.
- The average household size is 2.47 persons.
- The 2011 Census was the first to collect data pertaining to civil partnerships since they become legally recognized in 2005.
- Top Countries of Birth (other than UK): India, Poland, Ireland, Nigeria, and Pakistan
- 72 million London residents were holding non-UK passports in 2011.
- 67 percent of men and 56 percent of women 16 years and older were employed.
Reflect: Who do you think your neighbor will be? What kinds of stores, markets, and churches will surround you? What languages will you hear walking down the street?
Religion in London
In the 2011 census, 52.9 percent of people self-recognized as Christian, while 22.7 percent identified as ‘no religion’, 13.5 percent as Islam, and 5.5 percent as Hindu.
In addition, two of the largest mosques in the world are located in London! The East London Mosque with 7,500 worshippers and the Baitul Futuh with 10,000 worshippers. CAPA blogger Carly Wickham, from Emerson College, talks about her experience with Diversity in London.
In this week’s video, Carly gains a new perspective of diversity in London with a visit to a Muslim primary school with her “Islam in Britain” class.
People from Around the World in London
Home has a different meaning for each individual and over the years many people have immigrated to and started calling London home. See what it means to them.
Reflect: What do you like about your home culture? What are you most fascinated by with your new host culture London?
After Brexit, the below video was released by the Mayor’s office in London. See the message they are sending.
Reflect: Why is London open, and what does being open mean? Why do you think the Mayor created this video?
Oh the Food!
Food is an adventurous way to experience culture. Through immigration different recipes are passed around the globe with personal touches added in each location. With that said, imagine all the different types of food you can eat in an ever changing city like London!
“Especially on the weekends, the market is crowded and a bit messy, but it’s heartwarming to see everyone enjoying themselves, tucked into corners and eating out of Styrofoam boxes”
“The best part about Dutch pancakes are their snackability and their shareability—my friends and I ordered a serving of 15 pancakes and traded bite by bite until the plate was clean.”
If you want to read more about the foodie experience in London check out this CAPA Blogger’s advice on good eats: Plate by Plate: Eating My Way Through London-Part 2 (Camden Market)
Reflect: What is “British” food? Did you know that in the late 90s, chicken tikka masala was unofficially considered the “national dish”? What is the “national dish” of your home country?
Festivals & Celebrations
With so many unique people residing in London it is not hard to find a festival or celebration to attend that interests you. Burn’s Night, Chinese New Year, Holi Day, William Shakespeare’s birthday, Beltane, Summer solstice, Eid al-Fitr, Notting Hill Carnival, and Diwali are just a few that take place.
Fashion can be a form of self, cultural and religious expression. This is readily demonstrated within the community of London, in which individual attire may range from trainers and jeans, kurta and salwar, abaya, Italian suit, dashiki, or a simple cotton dress. While you may find daily wear slightly more formal than you could experience on a college campus, the way in which you choose to wear your identity is a personal choice.
Ready to learn more?!
At CAPA we appreciate the diverse backgrounds and interests of our students! We have compiled a list of resources to help you feel more at home in your new city. Included you’ll find information regarding major news sources and things to do in London. You’ll also find resources for students going abroad as an LGBTQ student, students with a disability, students who have dietary restrictions, and students who are wondering how their racial and ethnic identity may be impacted in their new city.
This is only a brief introduction to your city and all it has to offer so please reach out to your program manager with any specific questions or concerns. At CAPA we pride ourselves on our ability to meet individual student needs and go above and beyond to ensure we offer the best student experience abroad possible!
Major news sources
Location specific “Things to Do”
Religious Services and Resources
LGBTQ Community Resources
Community Resources on Race and Ethnicity
Food resources: Dietary restrictions
- Religious Sites in London
- The UK Church Directory
- Religious Services at The Tower of London
- Westminster Abbey Services
- Mosques in City and County of London
- London Central Mosque Trust Ltd. & The Islamic Cultural Centre
- Synagogues in London
- Jewish Heritage UK
- Temples in London
- London’s Muslim Lives
- What is it like to be a Muslim in Britain today?
- Sacred Footsteps – 5 Muslim Travel Bloggers
- NAFSA: Rainbow Special Interest Group
- Sexual Orientation Abroad
- Pride London
- UK Black Pride
- London Friend
- Stonewall, Acceptance without Exception
- Nomadic Matt
- Bani Amor
- Racial & Ethnic Minority Students Abroad
- 100 Black Men of London
- Black American Influence in London: An Overlooked History
- Travel Noire – Experiences of a Black Traveler
- What It’s Like to be Black in: London
- Walks, Talks & Films on the African History of London
- The East, East Asian cultural events in the UK
- BBC Asian Network
- Latinos in London
- Latino Life in the UK
- @TravelLatina on Instagram
- Students with Disabilities Studying Abroad
- 12 Study Abroad Resources for Students with Disabilities
- Mobility International USA
- Abroad With Disabilities (AWD) Facebook Group
- 6 Tips for Managing Dietary Restrictions While Abroad
- How to Study Abroad with Dietary Restrictions
- 6 Things Every Celiac Should Know (and Consider) About Study Abroad
- Gluten Free in London
- 21 Unmissable Vegan Places in London
- London’s best restaurants for vegetarian food
- London’s Best Restaurants for Gluten-Free Dining
- Eating out with Diabetes
- A Sugar-Free Guide to London
- Nut Allergy Friendly Restaurant Listings