I attended Yale in London in 1986 and had an incredible time. It was at 20 Bloomsbury Sq. back then and I lived on Hampstead Heath with a view to the top of Kite Hill (Parliament Hill). I rode the 24 bus to class every day, which is the longest running bus route in London, and the TFL was struggling with the switch to pay as you enter buses instead of the open back platform with a conductor. Michael Kitson and Brian Allen were our fearless leaders at that time and they made the experience special. They made us feel like the historical figures we were studying were just some of our buddies who were alive and well and might just live down the street. We took a “field trip”, beyond the every Friday trips, to Venice and Rome. Somehow one of the other participants and I ended up eating nearly every meal with these two fantastic professors off at some odd little restaurant they had found on their many prior trips to Italy and I realized that they actually considered Bernini, MA, Leonardo, Caravaggio, and the rest to be active friends and not just people to be studied.
I had a passion for theatre and saw at least a play a week for only £5-£8 each (London had student rates in those days). I actually managed the same on Yale’s campus as well with only the occasional trip to NYC. And I managed it again when I moved to London for the academic year of 2015-2016 when my wife wanted a Masters from LSHTM/RVC. I knew I would love London from my past experience and I wasn’t disappointed. It was different this time having a 10 year old in London public school rather than hanging with friends every night.
The program was worth it and remains a Yale highlight for me despite how much it messed with other plans. I was headed to medical school but I was a fine-arts major and the courses that fall couldn’t be applied to either, but I found some workarounds and it was worth it. This year needed workarounds too so I could continue to work at Dartmouth and be the Medical Director for Dartmouth’s Helicopter EMS program while living in London with my family.