So much has happened since my plane first touched the ground. Yet, I still cannot believe I made it to London. Every time I wake and every time I go to bed, I tell myself, "I cannot believe I am in London".
I have learned so much about myself and about London since I have arrived. I wish I could tell you every little detail (but even I would get tired of typing that much). Instead of babbling on, I'm going to break it all down for you in seven easy chunks.
Daily Life My typical day includes a couple of classes with IES or my internship and then free time doing whatever my heart desires. Usually, I end up hanging out in the community kitchen with our resident chef Alyssa. On the weekends, we enjoy scary movies from Netflix and local pubs. Life here is incredibly simple. Some days it feels like I'm on vacation and some days it feels like I'm getting a movie-worthy college experience. But it does come with its challenges.
Culture Shocks I have experienced several culture shocks since I have been in London. The biggest is the fact that there is no ranch in London. I had to find out the hard way when I visited McDonald's and was denied ranch for my nuggets!
Also, the keyboards here are different from U.S. keyboards. Typing on them has been an interesting challenge (especially when typing passwords). You can check out the keyboards here. Even spellcheck has been an odd experience because it keeps wanting me to replace 'z' with 's' in some words.
Lastly, milk in the tea. At first, this was incredibly shocking. However, after tasting a British cup of tea it has really grown on me. It has a sweet and creamy taste here that I quite fancy.
On Being Homesick When you study abroad, homesickness will hit you hard. Eventually, it will go away but you may be surprised at the thing you miss while you're away. For example, I really miss Hot Tamales, chili dogs from sonic and Kawika's dog Sophie. I wish I could be back on campus in my dorm room playing Friday the 13th on my Xbox with all my internet friends.
In a way, studying abroad has helped me realize all the things I take for granted back in the States. It has shown me that my university has become a home for and I can't wait to go back.
Internship at Brevia A portion of my program includes an internship. For my internship placement, I was accepted to an organization called Brevia Consulting. Here, I work on all things marketing and graphic design and front-end web design.
Working in London is a lot different than working in the States (duh). In London, it is not weird to ask someone's political views on a topic or go to the pub with all your coworkers after a long day of work. To me, it feels like the workplace is more laid back and social rather than strict and professional.
All in all, everyone that I work with is very nice and funny. They make me feel welcomed and, in some aspects, remind me of my team back home.
Travel In these past five weeks, I have traveled to Stratford Upon Avon, Stonehenge and Bath. I have included some of the photos from those trip down below. I will say the Stonehenge was a lot smaller than I expected. I felt like movies always made it look larger than life when it was actually decent size. Stratford Upon Avon was so beautiful and peaceful. If I was a famous celebrity I would definitely set up shop there. We learned that Avon actually derives from the word Afon which means river in Scottish and Welsh. So the city is literally named Stratford Upon River and the River Avon is just River River.
The city Bath was fun as well. We had a tour of the Temple of the Goddess Minerva which is pretty much a sacred bathhouse. The waters come from underground and are naturally heated. At the end of the tour, you get to taste the water that is said to cure anything. Naturally, I drank three cups worth because I have a lot of things that need curing. #Senioritis. #usingahastaghere.
If you ever travel to Bath, you should definitely eat at the Pig and the Fiddle. Their Mac n' Cheese was delicious.
Memorable Moments One of the most memorable moments so far was my trip to Promise Hill with my friend Tessa. It was a beautiful park with a view of London's city line. Surprisingly, there was not that many tourists there so I am hoping to go back and do a drawing of the park for my sketchbook.
Another memorable moment was at a local pub. On Thursdays, this pub breaks out a dance floor and plays the 80s and 90s music. It was so much fun singing at the top of my lungs and dancing like nobodies watching. One of the best feelings in the world is seeing that everyone is doing exactly what you are doing and having the time of their lives.
There are a lot of smaller memorable moments like going to see IT and having nightmares later; Getting lost on the tube as I am trying to get to class and losing my wallet and trying to figure out how to get home. The struggle may be real but it is so worth it.
Goals for the rest of the semester Five weeks have flown by so fast. I know that the next 9 weeks will go by just as fast. Now that I am in the swing of things, I want to set a few goals for myself: 1. Make time to work out each week. 2. Write blog post more often. 3. Draw, draw, draw.