NDA Alum in London Sees King Charles During Coronation


Ben Wolcanski, Staff Writer, Advanced Journalism

“It was chaotic!” said NDA alum Chris Wolcanski about being able to see the King of England up close.

Wolcanski was on a trip to London this past week while the royal coronation was taking place and by accident was able to see the king. 

“We had no idea it was going to happen or that he was there at first. Then there was a big group of people with large cameras shuffling through the crowd of tents and we finally saw who they were all looking at. He eventually made his way down the line of people who had been camped out for days, and we were pushed towards the front by others trying to get a look. It was incredibly lucky timing that we were in the same spot at the same time!” Wolcanski said. 

“Being in London during the coronation was very unique, the streets of the royal procession were blocked off and the streets around the route were full of people. A couple tube stations had to be closed because there were just too many people outside. There were large viewing screens where people gathered together to watch the ceremony. The pubs were packed. Neighborhood streets were blocked off for street parties that weekend,” he said

Wolcanski graduated from NDA in 2016 and then graduated from St. Thomas in 2020 after studying abroad his junior year. 

“I wanted to study abroad because it’s a unique opportunity to live in another country for a semester at a similar price to what a semester of college in the US would cost. The ability to live and learn in another country and experience different cultures for that amount of time would otherwise be extremely difficult after graduation,” Wolcanski said.

Wolcanski chose to study abroad in London for the second part of his junior year of college. 

“I had always wanted to visit London, and my school had a great program as an option for a semester in London. It was nice not to have a language barrier, and being in Europe was great, since I was able to travel to other nearby countries,” he said.

Wolcanski took this trip to London with the friends he made during his time studying abroad.

“The biggest benefit of studying abroad has to be the friends I made and have kept in touch with since our semester abroad, and the many memories and stories from the experience. Experiencing different countries and cultures has been incredible, but I’m lucky to have made some great friends,” Wolcanski said. 

“I’m not sure I could pick one thing that was the best part of the trip. I think it’s really been the overall experience. It’s been so exciting to revisit the places where my friends and I went so often when we were here, but also so much fun to experience new things together. We were here for the first coronation in 70 years, we saw a premier league match, a musical, ate some amazing food, and just had a great time,” he said.

Wolcanski also had a recommendation for those on the fence about which college to choose.

“I would absolutely recommend any juniors and seniors considering different schools to consider the study abroad programs each school has to offer as part of the overall picture. There are so many different programs and places available for study abroad students that I would recommend anybody to look into one that might fit for them.”