On Monday, 23rd November, some interested UCEAP English University students visited British Parliament at the iconic Palace of Westminster in London.
The afternoon started with a workshop from the head of the Parliament’s University Programme, Daniel Wood. Students learned about the two houses of Parliament, the House of Lords and the House of Commons, the workings of British Government in general, and even about the pancake race and dog show that take place at Parliament each year!
The workshop was a great way to introduce students to Parliament and what they would see once they went into the Houses to watch the debates. First was the House of Commons, where Members of Parliament (MPs) were discussing defence strategies; in the House of Lords a debate was taking place over the compliance of cyclists with traffic laws and regulations. Students were welcome to watch the debates until they ended, and many did stay for as long as they could before needing to rush off to class.
While walking from the room of the workshop to the Houses, students were treated to a rare close-up view of Big Ben before entering Westminster Hall. Westminster Hall is the oldest surviving part of the Palace of Westminster, having been built over 900 years ago. It has served as the location for both judicial and ceremonial functions, as well as a tennis court for King Henry VIII!
Overall it was a very interesting and exciting visit to Parliament and all the students who came had a great time!
I thought I knew a decent amount about Parliament before I came. But even during the short tour, I learned so much about the different nuances of British politics and government structure. – Lacy Wright, UCEAP English University Student Fall 2015