I have been in London for a little over a week now. My first day was not ideal, as I went to the wrong orientation. I found myself waiting in a Starbucks in the heart of London using their wifi trying to communicate with someone from my program. I was scared and felt hopeless. Finally, someone from my program came to find me. From there on out, everything has been great!
I feel like I have seen so much but I also feel like there is so much to do and see. The culture here is very similar to any big city back in the states. There are obviously differences, the main one being the means of transportation here in London. I have almost been hit by cars and bikes multiple times because I can’t seem to remember that the vehicles are coming from the opposite direction than they do at home. The steering wheel being on the right side of the car makes everything more confusing. I catch myself looking into cars and being confused because it looks as if no one is driving!
I have become much more comfortable with riding the tube (London’s underground transportation system) and have ridden it alone multiple times now. Everyone is very quiet on the tube and I feel like an outsider eating my breakfast on my way to class… no one eats on the go here, very different than in the states! All of the different underground lines are color coded so it makes it easy to navigate. I have memorized my route to class and have becoming great at “minding the gap”
I have had quite a bit of fish and chips since I have been here and have started exploring different food options. My flat is equipped with a kitchen so I have been eating at home at times to save money. Also, getting “take-out” or “to-go” means nothing to the locals… it is called “take-away” here and they will look at you blankly unless you use their terms.
I have met people from California to New York and everywhere in between who are studying here as well! Everyone has gotten along so far which has been great. My flat mates are really nice and most of us have similar interests.
“It is good to have an end to journey toward; but it is the journey that matters, in the end.” -Ernest Hemingway