Spencer Morgan (CFA'23)
I have always wanted to study abroad; the ability to do so was one of the major deciding factors for me during my college search and selection process. Interestingly, I am now part of an academic program that requires students to study abroad, such is the importance of expanding one’s world view to my college. I feel that my experience, so far, has done exactly that: my perspectives on place, identity, and culture have all be broadened while attending school, going to work, and traveling around one of the greatest cities in the world: London.
In the academic portion of my program, I decided to focus on history and art, which has meant taking classes on foreign policy, societal change, and of course contemporary and modern art. I have not only been able to see some wonderful special exhibitions, unique monuments, and moving performances as a result of these classes, but in taking them have nearly completed a declared minor in History and possibly another in the History of Art and Architecture.
In the internship portion of my program, I was paired with the City of Westminster Archives’ Conservation Department. Over the course of the past few weeks, I have joined a small cohort of volunteers in mounting, framing, and packaging objects in preparation for a special exhibition, ‘Life in Victorian Westminster’. It has been a wonderful introductory experience to the field, re-affirming my desire to go into the heritage sector.
In my free time, I made a point of going out in the city to explore the numerous museums, parks, and other points of interest. I also traveled on most weekends to other towns, like Brighton, Kirkwall, and Dover, and major cities, like Edinburgh, York, Liverpool, and Bath.
I always knew that I was going to study abroad, but I could never have anticipated doing so during a pandemic. I admit that there were challenges – travel restrictions, isolation requirements, and other necessary protocols – that made the experience different than what I had imagined going into college. However, different doesn’t mean bad; I had an incredible time and was able to make some fantastic memories with some wonderful people.
I left London with a broadened world view and a new zest for life that I know will stay with me for many years to come.
Brianna Spiegel (SAR'24)
Everyone says that college is transformative. From shaping identity, discovering values, creating life-long friendships, and preparing for careers, I can say that my experience in Kilachand and BU as a whole has definitely led me to accomplish those big things. But what about the small stuff? I have found that college changed me in unexpected ways, like becoming a foodie.
Now, I know this may sound silly at first. Maybe you’re thinking, don’t college students just survive on late night pizza? (And I’ll have to agree, there’s nothing quite like ordering Domino’s cheesy bread with your dining points). Or perhaps you’re thinking about budgeting - and it’s true, finding the spots to get the most for your money can be tricky. But living in Kilachand Hall, I had so many nearby options to choose from. Being on Bay State Road meant being walking distance to Fenway, Newbury, and more. And if something was a bit further away, my friends and I were just a block away from Kenmore station, where we could hop on the T and go anywhere in Boston!
Trying out new food places became a way to bond with my suitemates, neighbors, and friends in Kilachand’s living-learning community. From deciding on the restaurant, finding a way to get there, ordering and sharing the meal, and reflecting on all of the flavors and combinations, I found myself growing to love this process. Food transformed into a social and cultural experience for me; it was a way to explore the many diverse neighborhoods of Boston.
Because it can be a bit overwhelming knowing where to start, I wanted to recommend a couple fun experiences to try, especially for dessert - because isn’t that the best part of the meal? More than just the food, I hope that these ideas inspire you to plan your own Boston adventures and make memories along the way. I’ll also provide some suggested ways for how to get there from Kilachand Hall (91 Bay State Road).
I remember when my floor’s Resident Assistant (shout out to Christian!) took us all to this lovely shop, and we tried its amazing hot chocolate. L.A. Burdick is unique in that you can order to suit your chocolate preferences: dark, milk, or even white hot chocolate! Also, don’t skip out on trying a few of their chocolate candies and truffles, which have really rich, complex and creative flavors.
How to get there: Take a left out of Kilachand Hall, then take a right onto Raleigh St. Once you hit the Kenmore T station, hop on the train and ride two stops on the Green Line inbound to Copley (from where it will be a 3 min walk). If you’re up for about a 20-minute walk, take the beautiful stroll down tree-lined Commonwealth Ave in the direction of the Common, or opt to do some window browsing by walking down Newbury Street, Boston’s famous shopping area. Newbury and Commonwealth run parallel, so you’ll take a right onto Clarendon St either way.
My friend and I stumbled upon Bova’s in search of cannolis but wanting to avoid the infamously long line at Mike’s Pastry. We were amazed to see such a huge variety of pastries and cakes in addition to the classic cannoli that the North End is known for. I recommend getting a few with different fillings to share! Fun fact is that Bova’s is open 24/7, so perfect for those late night cravings. The North End, also known as Boston’s “Little Italy,” is definitely a must-visit site for anyone coming to the city.
How to get there: I recommend taking the T from Kenmore. Make sure to get on the Green D line inbound, and you’ll get off at Haymarket from which it will be about an 8 min walk. If you’re up for about an hour - but very scenic - trek, head down Commonwealth Ave in the direction of the Boston Common. You’ll actually walk through the park, and continue onto Beacon St, taking a left onto Somerset Ave. Continue straight all the way to Sudbury St. Once you get to the Rose Kennedy Greenway, a big intersection with trees and benches, you’ll cross and head onto Salem St in the heart of the North End.
Caroline Perna (SAR'25) & Veronica McKinney (CAS'25)
On the first floor of Kilachand Hall are the staff offices, which enable students to build relationships with staff and administration. When you first walk in, you’ll see Chrissy standing behind her desk with her welcoming smile. Chrissy is one of the newest additions to the Kilachand Staff, and she is always a light that brightens our days. Throughout our freshman year, we have had the joy to get to know Chrissy. She is an awesome resource if you ever need to talk, get advice, or if you need a hug. Over the last few months, Chrissy has become a “mom” for us since we are physically far away from our families, and we have a lunch date with her every few weeks. Make sure to pop in and say hi, and tell her that Caroline and Veronica sent you!
We are lucky to have a fully functioning kitchen on the first floor of Kilachand Hall (one of the only kitchens easily accessible to freshmen at BU)! The kitchen is an awesome way to bring people together to cook, bake, and hangout! Our favorite cooking experiments have been: chocolate chip banana bread, brunch eggs and crepes, and a surprise birthday cake for our friend Tanvi! Although you have to provide the food and cooking dishes, the kitchen is recently renovated, right downstairs, and easy to use. You should definitely take advantage and show off your cooking skills! (Warning: don’t use anything you find in the fridge…)
#3: Coffee & Snacks
In the offices of Kilachand Hall there is a lovely coffee machine (with more than 60 different possible drinks) and a box of snacks. We make sure to stop in the office nearly every day to get our yummy drink, or chips, or chocolate, or granola bar, or cookie… the options are endless. This has been a really convenient (and free) option to get some fuel for the day! (And we were especially grateful for the steaming hot chocolates on the coldest Boston winter days.) Chrissy stays vigilant on keeping the snack box replenished, and she looks the other way if you want to stock up on some snacks for later… 😉 If you ever have the chance, you should definitely use this (did we mention free?) pick-me-up station. (Bonus: you get to see Chrissy while you’re there!)
#4: 9th Floor Study Spaces
On the top floor of Kilachand Hall is a common area and quiet study room! The main entrance area has a dance floor and stage because Kilachand Hall used to be a Sheridan hotel. There are tables all over for you to work or hangout with friends, and a TV is available if you want to host a movie night! If you need to actually get some work done, there is a VERY quiet study room (where you can literally hear a pin drop). Kilachand Hall renovations are starting this summer 2022 (more information is up on the website), so the 9th floor will be upgraded with brand new classrooms, study spaces, and windows to overlook our stunning view of the Charles River. (Around sunset, the whole floor is aglow in warm lighting that is perfect for selfies!)
#5: 1st Floor Lounge
Our recently renovated first floor lobby and common room is one of the most active places in the building! During the day, students will work in between classes, and in the evenings, the room is even busier! While working, you may enjoy some nice ambient music from the public piano, or the aforementioned snacks and drinks from the front office. If you need a quick study break, board games are available for anyone to use, and the blue couches are surprisingly comfortable if you need to take a power nap! Our monthly Kilachand Teas are also hosted on the 1st floor, where you can get free drinks and food (our personal favorites are the chocolate covered strawberries and chips and hummus!). Co-curriculars and events like the open KHC Closet (pictured below) are often held on the first floor because everyone coming into the building will pass by!
WE LOVE KILACHAND HALL
and all the fun people, places, and memories made here! <3
Photos © Caroline Perna & Veronica McKinney 2022
Rebecca Sarkisian (Questrom'23)
Going to college and living away from home for the first time can be hard, especially when you think about not being able to have home-cooked food. And while nothing can replace a home-cooked meal, BU Dining does its best to keep you well-fed so you can focus on making the most out of your college experience.
As a freshman in Kilachand, you’ll be living in a dorm-style residence, meaning that you’ll be required to have a meal plan. BU offers a variety of different meal plan options, each carrying a different amount of meal swipes and dining points. Meal swipes get you into the dining halls, while dining points can be used at to-go style on-campus eating options.
Since my freshman year, I’ve been on the Unlimited Plan. While it’s not the most common option, I’ve found that it’s the best option for me since I typically eat breakfast, lunch, and dinner in the dining hall. I also sometimes like to go to the dining hall in the afternoon when it’s less busy to study and have a snack, which my Unlimited Plan allows me to do without worrying about wasting a meal swipe.
The main dining halls on campus are Marciano, Warren, and West. Marciano is right across the street from Kilachand Hall, so it’s where you’ll probably eat most of your meals. Marciano features two floors of seating and food options with tons of natural light (and a view of Fenway Park on one side of the dining hall). In addition to dining hall staples like a salad bar, deli, and grill, there’s also a vegan station and a gluten-free station to accommodate different dietary restrictions.
The meals at the dining hall have a lot of variety, but my personal favorite days are the dining hall events. Each Fall, all of the dining halls have Lobster Night where every student gets a full lobster. The dining halls also have other events like ‘90s Night and holiday events like Thanksgiving, Spring Brunch, and Halloween.
If you want to add some variety outside of the dining halls, you can use your dining points at to-go locations across campus. At the George Sherman Union, you can find Starbucks, Panda Express, Basho for sushi, Greens & Grains for salads, Rhett’s for burgers and chicken, and CRBC for sandwiches, along with rotating menus at Open Kitchen and The Market. There’s also Einstein Bros. Bagels in the basement of CAS, and Starbucks and Breadwinners in Questrom, along with more locations around campus.
There’s never a lack of good food at BU, but you can’t forget that you’re in the middle of Boston with tons of amazing restaurants as well! Make sure you explore the city and see what else there is to offer.
Image © Rebecca Sarkisian 2022
Emma Hartman (ENG'23)
To many people, Google Calendar is just one of the several apps that sits untouched taking up space on their crowded iPhones. However, to college students across the country, and to me and many of my friends in the Kilachand Honors College, Google Calendar is a revered organizational tool without which life would never be the same.
When you first get to college, it’s easy to get overwhelmed by the sheer number of things you want to do and things you have to do. You’ll have a new class schedule, new friends (and with those new friends, a million plans for lunches, dinners, nights out, nights in, study sessions and everything in between), office hours and tutoring appointments to attend, Kilachand co-curriculars, club meetings, and a million different events happening on campus to choose from at any given moment, from BU hockey games to art nights to musicals.
With so many responsibilities and so many choices, it’s easy for important deadlines and meetings to slip your mind. You don’t need to schedule your life down to the minute, but it can be helpful to write some of these things down in Google Calendar so you don’t forget! Here are some of the most helpful tips for staying organized with Google Calendar that I’ve gathered in my time at BU:
1. Put all of your classes, office hours, KHC co-curriculars, & important academic responsibilities in it.
Not everything has to go in your calendar, but there are definitely some things that should. Make sure to write down when you have class and office hours. It sounds like basic common sense advice, but trust me, it’s popular advice for a reason! In your first week of classes, you’ll also receive a syllabus for each class with info about homework assignments, lab reports, essays, discussion board posting, exams, quizzes, and more. No matter how good you think your memory is, once things get busy, these can be really difficult to keep track of. I like to put due dates and exam dates in my Google Calendar to ensure I don’t forget anything. It’s definitely saved me more than a couple of times…
Also, don’t forget to put KHC co-curriculars in your calendar. They’re talks given by guest speakers and you’re required to go to two of them every semester. Oftentimes, some of the co-curriculars conflict with classes, club meetings, studying, or even plans with friends. I use Google Calendar to figure out which of the co-curriculars are most feasible for me to attend at the start of every semester, which saves me from scrambling to fulfill the requirement at inconvenient or stressful times.
2. Write important details about each event in your calendar.
For all of my classes and office hours, I like to write down information like what building and room the class is in. This is especially helpful at the beginning of every semester when you haven’t settled into a routine yet or when you’re new on campus and haven’t really developed a sense of direction. It’s also helpful when you’re running late and can just glance down at your phone to see what floor and classroom you’re speed walking to. Additionally, I like to write down information about who “Lunch at 12:30” is with or what class the “2pm Office Hours” are for. It’s just easier when you’re glancing at your phone mid-day not to have to think too much about these things.
3. Check your Google Calendar daily!
It’s helpful to write down your schedule, but none of this will be useful if you don’t actually check your Google Calendar on a regular basis. I check my Google Calendar every night when I write out my next day’s schedule in my planner. I usually wind up finding info like a meeting that I scheduled three weeks ago is happening tomorrow or I’m reminded that I have an exam coming up next week so I should start studying soon.
4. Don’t always follow the calendar
I know firsthand that it’s really easy to overschedule yourself in college. Sometimes, some of the best experiences you’ll have happen when you break out of your daily routine. If your friend wants to hang out and get lunch, but you had planned on getting some non-urgent work done, it’s okay to push the work back to a later time. It’s good to plan, just don’t let the planning get in your way of enjoying college! Your Google Calendar should help you, but it shouldn’t ever control you.
Hannah Martin (CAS'25)
Throughout my first year at BU, I have discovered quite a few spots on campus. Since it is such a large university, there are tons of places available for study needs. Whether you need to collaborate, a silent study room, or an area with white noise, there is definitely a spot on campus that will work for you. In this blog post, I’m going to share my favorite spots to study, and give a little reasoning for why they work so well for me.
1. Questrom Starbucks
Questrom! The building itself is a wonder to look at, and there are a multitude of spaces to finally finish that essay you have been putting off for weeks. I am quite literally sitting at a booth inside Questrom as I write this blog post. Some honorable Questrom mentions include the Pardee Library, and the common room found upon the entrance of the building. However, Questrom Starbucks produces productivity out of me which I have never seen before! I somehow manage to complete all of my work in just one sitting at a comfortable corner booth. Perhaps it's the caffeine readily supplied for me from my Grubhub app, but I like to blame it on the atmosphere itself.
2. BU Beach
Okay, so maybe this is a very basic place to put in a top five list, but it's basic for a reason! Everyone loves BU Beach on a warm, sunny Boston day. I like to go here with a few friends, pick up lunch from the George Sherman Union, and catch up on readings at a picnic table. The location is pretty central, so it's easy to stop by in between classes as well. I like to study outside, which I know can be difficult for some, but this is the perfect place for me to be productive while still getting some time outside.
3. Kilachand 9th Floor
As a KHC freshman living in the Kilachand Hall, this is the most accessible study spot on campus for me. The ninth floor in Kilachand Hall contains two rooms of different studying atmospheres. There is a silent room, which is where I go if I have an exam to prepare for, and there are also collaborative spaces that I utilize for group projects with other students. There is a beautiful view of the Boston skyline, which is an immaculate aspect of the location. There is also a common room on the first floor of KIlachand Hall, which is nice for collaborative projects or discussions.
Found in the basement of the George Sherman Union, this one’s hidden! The Center of Gender, Sexuality, and Activism is a great place to take a break from the chaotic city of Boston to get some studying done. It is an inclusive and welcoming space, and perfect for anyone! I like to start on bigger assignments here, as usually there are only a few people, and I can easily focus. The CGSA is also home to many different clubs on campus, and available for students to just take a break during the day, or hang out with some friends!
5. Yawkey Center
The Yawkey Center is my final favorite place to study. It has such an open atmosphere perfect for any type of studying. There are beautiful views of the city, the CAS writing program to assist you in any written work, and the CAS and pre-professional advising offices. In addition to all of these resources, the best dining hall on campus, Marciano Commons, is on the first floor! I like working on all of the floors in the Yawkey Center. However, I definitely favor eating breakfast at Marcianos and doing my work early in the morning to have the whole dining hall to myself and only a few others.
Throughout campus there are tons of spots to study, or just hang out! These are just a few of my favorites, and I think they deserve a bit of hype.
Gabrielle Gewirtz (CAS’24)
There’s a moment everyone talks about during the college decision making process; when you know that there’s one college that makes you feel at home and overall just feels right. Making this decision during COVID, when I could not visit any schools, was very difficult. I chose BU because it checked all of my boxes—big school, research university, in a city, close to home, but not too close—but I didn’t know if, when I got to campus, I would have that feeling of rightness.
I moved into Kilachand Hall in late August with an anxious feeling: would I fit in here? Pushing those anxious thoughts aside, I started unpacking my boxes and suitcases. After moving in and meeting my roommates, we decided to start checking out places to get more comfortable with BU campus and our dorm. Since it was already pretty late, and we wanted to stay in our building, we decided to check out the 9th floor of Kilachand Hall to see the views of the city.
We took the elevator up to the 9th floor, and as soon as we got off, I was hit with that feeling. Around us, people were either doing work at tables or playing card games and talking to friends. Everyone looked at ease, and some people were even wearing pajamas. I immediately liked the feel of the 9th floor; you could go there to get work done, or even to be unproductive, and no one would care.
My roommates and I went to one of the big windows to look at the view, and again I was hit with the same feeling. I’ve always loved the nighttime, but Boston at night is especially gorgeous with its bright lights and zooming cars. I could easily picture myself up there on another night, playing games with friends or working on a late night project. At that point, looking out the window into the city, I knew I had chosen the right school.
Since coming to BU, I have gone up to the 9th floor more times than I could count. I’ve been to game nights with friends and have worked on group projects with people also in the honors college. Going to the 9th floor has been a great way to meet up with friends, and even meet new people. It’s also a place that has given many people, including myself, that indescribable feeling of rightness; that you know you chose the right place to be.
Image © Gabrielle Gewirtz 2022
Iffany Zou (CAS'25)
I’ve just about completed my first year here at Boston University in the Kilachand Honors College and to say I’ve loved it is an understatement. Through Kilachand, I have created so many unforgettable memories. However, my memory is bad, so before I forget, I’d better write a few of my core ones down:
1. Hiking Monadnock
In chronological order: first up we have hiking Mount Monadnock. It was October 23rd, 2021 and I had just met the group of boys from down the hall. Because of Kilachand’s living and learning community, I encountered what became a tight knit group of friends. A zipcar, a collaborative playlist, and a few breakfast sandwiches later, we were off to the misty mountains. What I love about Boston is that you can get the best of both worlds: you live in the city, but you aren’t too far from the exact opposite. The two hour drive and the lack of sleep was completely worth it. Once we began the hike, we could barely stop. Each spot higher than the previous one unveiled a more and more beautiful view. If you love a good hike, I definitely recommend Mount Monadnock in October. At one of the peaks, we could see miles of orange and auburn leaves and this is a view I will never stop missing. We sat there a while, unable to fathom the breathtaking view. Just look at this photo…Boston might be the place for you!
On November 20th, 2021, my friends and I celebrated Thanksgiving with a home-cooked dinner at Jacob’s. All of us gathered around the kitchen counter was truly a sight to see: Dan reaching over me to grab the string beans, James playing with the fire on the stove, Shea mashing an absurd amount of potatoes, Jacob showing off his card tricks, and everyone singing, screaming, and laughing. It was only a few months into our first semester at college, but I was immensely grateful for the people I had met. As the night went on, my homesickness finally began to ease.
3. Fancy Marciano Dinner
One day of no particular occasion, my friends and I decided to have ourselves a fancy dinner at Marciano Commons (the best dining hall on campus). We dressed up, brought a bed sheet/tablecloth (same thing), and claimed one of the circle tables. We had a three course meal, starting with appetizers and ending with desserts. The night was so fun, we decided this was only going to be the first of many themed dinners. Next up: Adam Sandler Night (stay tuned)!
4. Ultimate in the Rain
In the middle of second semester, my friends and I really started taking advantage of the warmer weather. On Tanvi’s birthday, we gathered everyone together on a rainy Thursday night to play a big game of ultimate. We ended up staying out for hours playing ultimate, volleyball, soccer, and football. It was extremely slippery and multiple of us did fall, but I wouldn’t even hesitate to do it again (go team river rats!). On our walk back to Kilachand Hall, we jumped in puddles, sang Pitch Perfect, and continued to throw the frisbee around. By the time we got back, we were wet, sweaty, and a little bit muddy. We ended the night in the Kilachand 1st floor common room eating Veronica’s homemade cake and wishing Tanvi a Happy Birthday (Happy Late Birthday, Tanvi)!
It sounds cheesy, but these are the memories I know I’ll always hold close to my heart. Thanks to Kilachand, I’ve had an amazing year with a beautiful community. And thanks to this blog, I was able to share the best bits with you (and I’ll actually be able to remember it!).
Images © Iffany Zou 2022
Richard Boylan (COM ‘22)
As a Kilachand student, senior year is an undeniably busy time. Between juggling KHC specific classes, the Keystone Symposium, major requirements, and making sure to complete that final HUB credit, adding the prospect of studying abroad to the mix can be overwhelming. Despite the challenges, my decision to study abroad in Los Angeles during my final semester is one that I do not regret. With BU’s numerous abroad programs there is any number of cities and countries you can study in, but figuring out the work, school, and life balance can be challenging so here are some tips:
1. Plan Ahead of Time
Even if you don’t know where you want to study abroad quite yet, once you’ve made the decision to build a study abroad experience into your time at BU, start talking to both your KHC and Major-specific advisors right away. Navigating graduation requirements and class sequences can be tricky and talking with your advisors can often be the easiest way to map out a plan for building a semester abroad into your schedule. Each study abroad program offers its own unique classes and opportunities, often including an internship. The Study Abroad Office even has its own site-specific advisors who can help point out the most popular programs and walk you through the benefits of each.
It’s never too early to start considering your options for studying abroad. As a Film & TV Major, I knew that coming into BU my freshman year, I wanted to spend my last semester in Los Angeles. Working alongside both my advisor at KHC and the COM advisors, I was able to create an academic plan that allowed me to not only study in Los Angeles but in London too and still meet all my requirements.
2. Don’t Overload Yourself
Keep in mind, that every study abroad program offers its own unique set of classes. Often study abroad programs offer culturally specific spins on major-required courses. Each program also offers a host of one-of-a-kind electives that give you the chance to explore your interests further and take classes not offered in Boston. In addition to class requirements, most study abroad programs also include an internship component. The prospect of interning for a professional company is undoubtedly exciting but having a regular work schedule in addition to classes can require more of a commitment than many students are used to.
With all these different requirements vying for your attention, it is important to find a way to manage your time. Keeping track of due dates, knowing which assignments to prioritize, and most importantly taking time to enjoy your new home is crucial to managing stress. Which brings me to my final point…
3. Take Time to Enjoy The Experience
While classes and internships are important, the greatest allure of studying abroad is getting to live in and explore a new city or country. No matter how long it may seem at first, the semester undoubtedly always goes by faster than expected and it would be a shame to miss out on exploring in favor of grinding out homework all the time. Personally, I like making a bucket list ahead of time and made one for both of my semesters in London and Los Angeles. Creating a bucket list with a mixture of touristy “must-see” attractions, more niche experiences, the best food places in the city, and any of your other interests can help you explore parts of a city or country that you wouldn’t have seen otherwise.
The BU Study Abroad Programs also regularly run site-specific experiences to help introduce you to the city and other students in the program. For instance, this semester the Los Angeles program hosted trips to Universal Studios Hollywood, Warner Brothers Studios, and the Academy Museum in addition to several smaller study breaks. Most of these trips are free or heavily discounted, not to mention extremely popular, which make them one of the best ways to explore your new home in an affordable way.
Whether it be Los Angeles, London, or any of the numerous other study abroad programs that BU offers, the opportunity to live and learn in a new place is one that you should take advantage of no matter your class year.