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New Century Students Abroad: London and Paris

New Century students and recently graduated falcon alumni traveled to London and Paris on a STEM-focused travel abroad opportunity. The STEM Discovery: London Tour offers the chance to interact in the most hands-on way possible with the hallmark computing technologies of the past and present while also providing the chance to explore architectural wonders and modern medical miracles in the exciting museums of central London. New Century students and alumni had the chance to feel what it was like to truly live in the UK and to travel on foot, bus, and the underground tube as Londoners do with a mix of local delicacies for dinner each night.

The excitement of the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee Celebration – highlighting Queen Elizabeth II’s 70-year reign as the longest reign ever of a British monarch – was an exceptional treat to behold. The festivities took place right in the middle of the trip giving students a rare insight into what it is like to actually be a part of the events as they happened.

The UK Science Museum houses an enormous collection of scientific treasures and demonstrations including the tools and equipment used by Isaac Newton, Charles Boyle, and Stephen Hawking, along with the inventions that bring together the medical and mathematical sides of modern-day Britain.

Individual day-trip excursions out included traveling to Stonehenge (whose ancient, mysterious stones still have secrets yet to be fully revealed) and Bletchley Park (to discover first-hand the true story of the WWII codebreakers and the ground-breaking work of computer scientists Alan Turing, Gordon Welchman, and Tommy Flowers). The National Museum of Computing located at Bletchley gave students the chance to touch, use, and explore a fully built replica of Alan Turing’s bombe machine (used to break the German Enigma cryptography code) up through the history of current computing technologies.

Once students spent a full week in London, they then traveled by train to Paris to see some of its most famous monuments and the Louvre Museum. Key moments in Paris included taking a river cruise on the Seine River to see Notre Dame, walking through the archway of the Arc de Triomphe as Napoleon Bonaparte would have, going up the Eiffel Tower to see the Parisian skyline, and visiting the Mona Lisa and other great artists in the Louvre. Though the best part of Paris for everyone was savoring the artisan macaroons!