Brighton is a lively city with a combination of modern and historical pieces. This city is bigger than I imagined which is exciting because it gives me more opportunities to explore and to get to know Brighton thoroughly.
During my spring semester I am taking three classes in the University of Brighton. These classes are Psychology of Wellbeing, Sociology: Mobilisation, Movements, and Protest, and my last class is British Culture.
I am already excited for the semester since our class set up is different than what I am used to. The social science classes I am taking are divided into two, lecture and seminar. The seminar is focused on discussion, and more one on one group activities since depending our class size the seminars get split into two to four groups.
I had two field trips and a class trip since arriving in Brighton, to London and to East Sussex both with beautiful views.
In London, I saw the Buckingham Palace and the changing of horses. Since we walked around a lot, we got to see Piccadilly Circus, the very ancient shop Fortnum & Mason, Big Ben although it is currently under construction. A day filled with sightseeing culminated with going on the London Eye and afterwards seeing the Alita movie premier show in Leicester Square.
Our trip today was around East Sussex, in which we visited Beachy Head, intensely windy today, also visited Alfriston and a church dating back to 1360. After walking around in the small town, we ate at a pub named Six Bells which it too has been around for many years. Our last stop during this trip was at the Battle of Hastings dating back to the 11th century, in which was the last time England was successfully invaded.
Visiting the Royal Pavilion
I visited the Royal Pavilion as part of a class trip for my British Culture module this week and learned the history behind such a grand and extravagant palace. The Royal Pavilion is a feast for the eyes both from the outside and inside of the palace. The outside structure has an Indian style while the inside is based on Chinese. Our tour guide explained to us how back to when the Royal Pavilion was being built, there was not much knowledge of the Chinese style and culture therefore whatever amount of information and furniture was then amplified and put throughout the entire palace, hence the large amounts of dragons, bells, and snakes.
Unfortunately, we were not allowed to take pictures inside therefore I can only say from my experience you must visit it! The inside of the Royal Pavilion is magnificent and grand with intricate details including; dragons, snakes, lotus flowers, bamboo like edges, and bells, this place was truly fit for a king! There were many chandeliers with huge dragons hanging from the ceiling holding everything together. I learned that this was once a getaway palace for King George IV and that the construction of the palace began in 1787. Such a grand place took many years to create since it was transformed from a small vacation house to an elegant palace with lots of rooms. King George IV had the luxury of having a beautiful and spectacular dining room, as well as a music room, saloon, and even a modern kitchen (well for their times).
We came to visit the Royal Pavilion at a good time, as it recently opened access to all rooms. The visit to the Royal Pavilion was a great experience to learn about the history of Brighton and how the Royal Pavilion shaped Brighton to what it is today. Can’t wait to further explore Brighton!
Diana Alcalá is a Portland State University student and a USAC Brighton alumna. She’s a recipient of the Fund for Education Abroad scholarship and you can read more about her time abroad on the Fund for Education Abroad website.