While there have been countless small challenges (pigeon-related panic attacks, devastation at missing a Kate Middleton appearance, likely vitamin D deficiency from London’s permanent cloudy weather), I have had such an amazing time that I can’t really say anything negative about my time abroad. The biggest challenge I face is the realization that I won’t be here much longer. With every great experience I have, a voice in my head asks, “when will you ever do this again?” As much as I try to stay in the moment, I am always mindful of the plane ticket that has already been booked, ready to take me away from this new and wonderful place. Don’t get me wrong, I will love so many things about returning home, but studying abroad is once-in-a-lifetime, and it goes way too fast.
Posts from the ‘London’ Category
Out of the three daily meals, breakfast is definitely my favorite. Luckily, through word-of-mouth and a couple of British classmates, I stumbled upon My Old Dutch Pancake House. There are three locations in London: Kensington, Holborn and Chelsea. My Old Dutch has been around for a while; its first location opened back in 1958. Since then, the pancake house has withstood the test of time, earning a devoted following among locals.
On a visit to London, you probably want to see the stuff from postcards. Buckingham Palace, Admiralty Arch, the London Eye. But there’s a good chance the thing you will see most, more than potentially rabid pigeons, even more than dogs wearing sweaters, is a place called Pret a Manger. The name is French, but if you’re like me and still grapple with the correct pronunciation of “croissant,” you can just call it Pret.
“You mean you’re here by yourself? Without anyone else from your school?” – The inevitable question from any study abroad student who has come with a group from his or her school.
One of the many conveniences of London is its underground transportation service, known as the Tube. Anyone who lives in London will tell you it is the easiest and fastest way to get around the city. At first, I was nervous about using the Tube, but I quickly learned how easy it is to understand. Throughout my time in London, the Tube has been a godsend, saving me from lengthy bus rides and astronomical cab fares. I’ve rounded up my top six tips for a trip on the London Underground:
It’s been just over three weeks since my plane touched down in London, and I can’t believe how many incredible experiences I’ve had since then. My ISA program has taken me on a tour through the Tower of London, around the city on a double-decker bus, and through the famous markets of Camden Town, to name a few things. In addition, I have met some great friends who are just as eager to explore London as I am. The journey across the pond wasn’t all smooth sailing, though. Lost luggage, delayed flights, and 36 hours without sleep weren’t things I hoped to encounter at the outset of my semester abroad, but adventure does come with certain risks. I think the upside to travel difficulties can be that once they’re resolved, you’re even more appreciative of the amazing opportunities traveling can offer.
“Home” has taken on a new meaning for me since I left for college in 2010. In fact, every year it transforms into something new. My hometown will forever be St. Charles, Missouri, but Oklahoma is also home to me. Each place is dear to me for different reasons. Now, my residence is in London for a term. I can’t honestly say yet if this city will ever be home to me, because living here feels so different than I expected.
It has been a couple of weeks since my last blog post, but I promise it was for good reason. London is slowly slipping away from me and I am just trying to savor and absorb every minute of it while I still can. As I am sure you can imagine, the last two weeks have been filled with adventures, excursions, and many new experiences.
This weekend was packed with several ISA excursions and I have to say, two of the sites definitely make my list of Top 10 sights in England. The first was Stonehenge which we visited Saturday morning. I had been getting mixed reviews of the famous stones from people throughout the week. First I heard they were absolutely amazing, but then some would say they are smaller than expected and were in the middle of a highway and so it was not worth it. At first I was really excited because Stonehenge is one of those iconic sights that is cool to see with your own eyes, but then I began to lower my expectations as to avoid disappointment. Read more
We are now in the second week in November and my body is beginning to expect the weather to get into the low 40’s on a regular basis, but instead it was in the high 40’s low 50’s in London this week with little rain!! (which is good because my umbrella is MIA at the moment) I took a personal day Thursday afternoon and walked around Richmond Park. Even though London is known for its city bustle, there are some gorgeous green areas and wildlife! It was quite relaxing to have my lunch in the park, surrounded by fresher air for a change.