[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/04/02/art.getty.m.obama.girls.sch.jpg caption="Michelle Obama got the rock star treatment at an all-girls school in London."]
WASHINGTON (CNN) - Greeted by shrieking students and sobs of joy, first lady Michelle Obama got the rock star treatment during a visit to an all-girls high school in London.
Mrs. Obama's visit to the Elizabeth Garrett Anderson Language School, which is located in an impoverished part of London but has become one of the top schools in the area, was a surprise for the students. Many of the girls - who had been told to expect a special guest, but not that guest's identity - wiped away tears while the first lady spoke.
Mrs. Obama also got emotional during her visit, choking up in the middle of her speech to the girls. She spoke after watching a number of performances by the students, including a song by a choir, a modern dance performance and a drama.
"All of you are jewels, you are precious and you touch my heart," she said, as she appeared to be trying to hold back tears. "And it is important for the world to know that there are wonderful girls like you all over the world."
Mrs. Obama stressed the importance of getting a good education and called the students the "women that will build the world as it should be."
"By getting a good education, you too can create your own destiny," Mrs. Obama said. "I never cut class. I like being smart. I thought being smart was the coolest thing in the world."
She also talked about her early relationship with President Obama, saying that he took her out to a community meeting on one of their first dates. The audience laughed, and she commented, "I know how romantic."
"I went to this training with this guy, I don't know, he was trying to impress me, I thought he was cute, but I wasn't quite sure," she said.
Before leaving the school, Mrs. Obama spent several minutes trying to hug as many students as she could, including each of the 24 members of the choir who shared the stage with her.