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London, England and Glasgow, Scotland

Living in London and Glasgow

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About London

As the eminent 18th century writer Samuel Johnson famously said, “When a man [or woman!] is tired of London, he [or she!] is tired of life.”  That still holds true.  London is, simply put, one of the world’s great cities.  For centuries, it has been the center of British government, economy, and culture, and it remains a dynamic, diverse city of inexhaustible riches to explore. 

There are, of course, the well-known sights, some of which you will be seeing on class fieldtrips but others left to you to explore.  Reproductions and internet tours are all well and good, but they are just not the same as seeing in person the Rosetta Stone and the Elgin Marbles in the British Museum (not to mention amazing artifacts from Africa, Europe, Asia and elsewhere—much the spoils of Empire) or the tombs of the mighty dead in Westminster Abbey or the splendors of Buckingham Palace, not to mention The British Library (Magna Carta; Shakespeare’s First Folio), The Tower of London (the Crown Jewels) and countless other places.

But beyond these famous places are lesser-known museums, lovely parks, some of the best contemporary art, music and the most vibrant theater scene in the world, older and more contemporary, West End blockbusters and more avant-garde work.  Then there is the amazing and affordable food at the markets all over town (think Reading Terminal Market x 10), hip shops and the pleasures of its countless squares, mazy alley-ways and mews, and cafes.   For all its history, London is a living, pulsing, diverse city, each of its neighborhoods with its own flavor, and thriving immigrant communities from all over the globe.  It is also a remarkably safe city for a metropolis its size, though it’s always important to keep your eyes open.  For instance, London’s homicide rate is approximately 1/10th that of Philadelphia’s; its robbery rate is about the same. 

About Glasgow

Glasgow is the most populous city in Scotland and a port city on the River Clyde in Scotland's western Lowlands. It has a legendary music scene with many celebrated independent venues and an exciting calendar of world-class festivals and events. As a UNESCO City of Music, Glasgow is a creative and cultural hub, well known for its architecture and home to institutions including the Scottish Opera, Scottish Ballet and National Theatre of Scotland. Glasgow has ranked in the top 10 of Time Out's best cities in the world for---beating out the likes of Tokyo, Barcelona and Washington DC and was voted ”world's friendliest city” by users of travel site Rough Guides in 2021. Glasgow lives up to its nickname "Dear Green Place" because the many parks scattered across the city. Glasgow has more green spaces per capita than any other city in Europe and has over 90 parks and gardens. Fittingly, it is hosting COP26 in November 2021, the UN’s worldwide gathering to address climate change.

Among Glasgow’s many attractions are Glasgow Cathedral, Kelvingrove Museum, Ashton Street, The University of Glasgow and the Hunterian Museum and Gallery, Pollok Park, Buchanan Street, and The People’s Palace

Glasgow’s robbery, homicide, and other crime rates are a fraction of Philadelphia’s.  

Housing and meals


Students will live in Princess Elizabeth House, which is made up of shared flats and studios, with a limited number of single rooms. With all modern fixtures and high speed internet.  Highgate is one of London’s nicest neighborhoods, with an illustrious literary history and shops, grocery stores, pubs and restaurants available just a short walk away. Also close by is the Archway tube station, which will take you into the heart of London in 30-35 minutes.  Meals are not included, but students will have access to shared kitchens, so you must budget estimates for additional expenses. Occasionally, additional housing beyond what is outlined above and Arcadia's website is arranged each term, as needed and accepted students will be informed of their housing assignment before departure.


Students will live in Blythwswood House, which is owned and administered by the world-renowned Glasgow School of Art.  Each room is a single, with shared kitchens and bathrooms. It’s in a great, centrally-located neighborhood, with great restaurants and live music venues just around the corner, a 10-mintue walk to George Square, the historic heart of Glasgow, and a short trip on public transport to the West End, home of the University of Glasgow and all its associated attractions, as well as Glasgow’s best park and museum, the Kelvingrove. Our academic space is at the University of Strathclyde, near the Cathedral and Merchant City, the trading center of the old city. Travel time from Blythswood House to Strathclyde is about 15 minute on foot or by bus. A bedding pack, including a duvet, sheets, and pillow/pillowcase will be provided. Students will need to supply their own towels, which can be easily purchased in Scotland. You’ll prepare your own meals in shared kitchens and will need to budget accordingly.