Hi friends, this past week has been a blur of settling into London, school orientation, traveling to Munich, and Oktoberfest. I’ve come to the conclusion that I’m just going to be tired for three months because I want to be this busy everyday here, its like once I start traveling like this I physically cannot stop and am just eager for more. The beginning of the week I finally got to explore London a bit more and I’m falling more in love with the city each day. I get so excited about the littlest things like scanning my Oyster card to ride the tube or going to the grocery store. I don’t even mind carrying the groceries .7 miles back to my flat because I feel like I’m getting a local experience, ha. London is such a hub and it feels like I have so much access to culture, history, shopping, new foods, travel, and meeting new people. I don’t think I could ever get bored here and as ridiculous as it sounds, sometimes I get stressed that in three months I won’t get to experience even half of it so I’m doing my best to maximize my time and see as much as I can, and if I can’t do it all… I just might have to move here after college!;) Everyday I am so filled with gratitude that this is my life right now.
I finally got to meet my last two roommates, Lea and Maggie and I hit the FREAKING JACKPOT! The four of us have so much in common and get along so well. We have the best times even just hanging out in the kitchen cooking and talking. They are also extremely adventurous and balling on a budget too, so it seems we got the best of both worlds. I can’t wait for all the things we are going to experience together. For some reason, I don’t have a group picture of just the four of us yet but they’re all pictured throughout.
Last weekend Traci, Lea, and I all went out to a club here in Shoreditch called XOYO. I’m telling ya, if you get the chance to go European clubbing, GO! London clubs are so different from American clubs, not as crazy as Berlin clubs, but such a fun experience. And they literally go all. night. long. My stamina isn’t quite built for that, but its a party nonetheless.
Sunday, a group of us in the program went to Primark, which is basically the European version of Forever 21 but the prices are even cheaper and the quality is higher. It’s a danger zone for me and my bank account. Then we had bottomless cocktails and brunch at Old Compton Brasserie, the Europeans just skip a light mimosa and head straight to the vodka apparently. And they give you an hour and a half time limit on your drinks so we had a power hour to get our 20 pounds worth, ha. It was so delicious, and the drinks were strong.
I also tried the restaurant Patty and Bun this week and had one of the best cheeseburgers I’ve ever had.
We had school orientation and if I’m being totally honest, I’d rather just keep up this European “vacation” I’ve been having without the work. But I guess we can’t have it all, right? I am taking one required International Business class for my major, and then am taking three marketing electives: Online Fashion Retail, Brand Management, and Managing the Creative Environment. After this semester I will have completed all of my required courses and am graduating in December. Since I have been planning to study abroad for a while, I had it worked out to where I get to finish up with electives instead of core classes which is really nice that I will be exploring topics I’m actually interested in here. They do school much different here and really emphasize independent learning. So instead of doing periodic quizzes, homework, and exams, they require two forms of “assessment” throughout the whole semester which could be a test, project, paper, etc. It will be interesting to see which style of teaching I prefer after this semester, but right now I like the idea of doing without all the busy work they assign us in America.
All the study abroad students were treated to a dinner at The Skinny Kitchen and introduced to each other. The food there was incredible, I would definitely recommend trying it on a trip to London. Plus I’ve met severalcool people in the program. A lot of us are living in the same apartment building so it’s been awesome to have some built in friends here and I would say it’s made the transition much easier.
We’ve mostly just been getting in the swing of things and I still feel like there is SO MUCH of London I want to see and experience in my three months here so I’ve compiled a bucket list. Fingers crossed I can do it all!
- Go up the London Eye
- Visit Buckingham Palace
- Have a tea party
- Recreate the Beatles photo
- Visit an art gallery
- Go to God’s Own Junkyard
- Eat a street food meal at Camden Market
- See a musical (Magic Mike, Mama Mia, Wicked)
- Attend a show at Shakespeare’s Globe
- Visit Notting Hill
- Take a photo in the tube
- Vintage shop at Shoreditch market
- Go up The Shard
- Take a photo at Big Ben
- See a football/soccer game
- See a rugby game
- Enjoy a rooftop meal
- Shop and eat in Islington town
- See a rooftop cinema
- Visit Platform 9 and 3/4
- See a free comedy show at Theatre Royal Stratford East on Mondays
- Eat fish and chips
- Go to the club: Ballie Ballerson
- Go to an ice bar
- Attend a concert or music festival
- Visit Westminster Abbey
- Explore Piccadilly Circus
If you have any London recommendations please share! Thanks for reading!
Samantha….sounds like you’re living your dream. Have fun and work on your bucket list. Mrs. Braden
Amazing! Sure do wish I could redo my senior college year!!!