Getting a handle on a city’s vibrant cultural scene can be overwhelming. But if you are a member of the “culturally bold” who has chosen Hult International Business School, then you’ve also chosen to leave home, your job, your beloved family dog, and travel to a new and exciting place to pursue a Masters. Hult campuses in Boston, San Francisco, London, Shanghai and Dubai all have a wealth of cultural experiences waiting for you. With this in mind, I bring you “Ask an Artsy Person” – a resource for finding cheap and great culture in your new city.
I dreamed up this idea because one of the things I love about Hult is the opportunity to explore great cities of the world. I also took a cue from one of my favorite blogs, The Hairpin – Ladies First, which showcases great blog segments like, “Ask a clean person.”
This week, we hit London (where I’m currently enrolled as a Master of International Marketing student). London is a classical western art mecca. There are numerous world-class art galleries, hundreds of performing arts institutions, and a vibrant music and cabaret scene. Where do we start? How about with some great questions.
Q: I am student with limited time and money, where should I go first?
A: Did you know that the National Portrait Gallery is only a 20-minute walk from Hult House?! The gallery, like many British museums, is free of charge! Special exhibitions may have a concession fee, but to see the general collection it’ll cost you £0! The British Museum (only a 10-minute walk from Hult) has the same set up. Boom! Go get your art on.
Q: I binge watched Glee during Module A. I’d like to see a show or musical, but it seems expensive. Are there cheap tickets?
A: It depends (a Master of International Marketing’s favorite response). Most theatres offer “day of” rush tickets, even for sold out productions. You can get £9-22 tickets to the Royal OperaHouse (opera/ballet) by either showing up or calling the box office after 10 a.m. the day of the show.
For West End musicals, there are ticket kiosks at Leicester Square that offer cheap (£12-40) tickets to shows like Wicked, Book of Mormon, The Body Guard, and Once. Please note that if a show is particularly popular, or has Jude Law in it, it may be difficult to get cheap rush tickets. That doesn’t mean it isn’t worth seeing, it just means that everyone else has the same plan you have.
Q: I’m tired of playing the part of the poor student. I want to splurge! I want to see something cool, something different. What’s under the radar?
A: London is great for fun and unusual experiences. If money is no object, I highly recommend Secret Cinema for a fun and unique night out. It’s a pop-up event that happens all over London. It features movies with unique, immersive experiences. I’d also recommend Evans and Peel Detective Agency – a bar where you bring a case for the detectives to solve. Or, there’s Wilton’s Music Hall, which shows movies, features bands and holds dances. As always, Timeout, Londonist and Shoreditch Hype (an app for download) are great resources for fun things going on.
London is an expensive city, but you don’t need a lot of money to have a great time. Throw yourself into the hustle and bustle; get involved and experience the culture and art that is available to you. After all, why did you choose a campus far away from home?
If you make the most of it, I promise you: it’ll deliver some magical experiences.