Daily Digest London: Study abroad, football rivalries and torch relays

Jeff Hargarten

LONDON – This is the first installment in a series of posts from London reporting on the Great British Summer, which includes a royal jubilee, high-profile international soccer matches, major concerts and finally the 2012 Olympics. 

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Study abroad classes in London begin today for Arcadia University students from the United States, including a handful of the University of Minnesota. The two month London Now program allows students to take classes critiquing plays, analyzing Shakespeare and learning about the economic and cultural impact of the upcoming 2012 Olympic Summer Games to land in the city July 27.

The program also offers internships with large British firms and even the Houses of Parliament.

Prior to the program’s start, students were led through a week of orientation taking them through the vast and winding streets of London to understand its many districts and boroughs. Outings included walks through the famous Brick Lane, Piccadilly Circus, Canary Warf, Westminster and Brixton. Students who arrived from the U.S. early got to experience the final day of Queen Elizabeth’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations, which marked her 60th year of reign.

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English soccer fans are bracing for a long-awaited match between their team and classic rivals France Monday evening as the 2012 UEFA European Football Championship continues.

London pubs are preparing for overflow crowds and some are uncharacteristically taking advanced seating reservations for the game. Bars, clubs and pubs have been promoting the upcoming match for weeks, fighting over patrons.

The game begins 17:00 BST, about 10:00 a.m. Central Standard Time for viewers in the Midwest.

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The Olympic torch is approaching Aberdeen, Scotland. The flame will travel about 138 miles today in the hands of specially-selected athletes, who left Athens roughly 24 days ago.

The torch was in Dublin June 6 and has been making its way around the United Kingdom, visiting places of historical and cultural importance to the British people.

The relay will last 70 days in total and end on July 27 to open the Olympic Summer Games in London.