I’ve only been in London for a little over two weeks now and I can honestly say it’s been an incredible and amazing experience. In this small amount of time I have already met so many new friends from all around the world, and have seen many famous sites within central London. London is truly a beautiful city and I am so thankful to have this opportunity to expand my knowledge of the world.
Classes have just recently started, but I look forward to observing the different teaching styles in comparison to the U.S. school systems. Overall, although my journey is just beginning, I’ve already learned so much and it makes me enthused to
think about the knowledge I will gain within these next three months that I am here.
Despite the long plane ride and not knowing anyone, I did not find London overwhelmingly shocking. The city and university are far more diverse than I could have imagined. Only a small percentage of the people I meet are actually native to the country. Culturally people live similarly to what we experience, the largest contrast being the differences you find in any rural to urban travel or an unusually high alcohol consumption.
The aspect missing most predominantly is having my own vehicle. There is a jump from driving to relying on public transportation. Roehampton University is much larger than Castleton, with roughly 8000 students. Classes seem more rigid in structure and far more independent then the routine found at Castleton. All of my courses are assessed mostly by a paper that is worth 70 percent of the total grade. There are lectures only once a week, but they come with a long list of readings to do in your own time. The academia will prove tougher, but the fun that we have found easily outweighs any difficulties.
London has been the experience of a lifetime. These past two weeks have just flown by. It’s incredible being submerged in a brand new culture and way of life. I’ve had the opportunity to meet many new incredible people from all over the world including Norway, Germany, Afghanistan, France, England, the Netherlands, and even some students from different parts of the United States.
Studying abroad has definitely been one of the best decisions I have ever made. It’s awesome living in a new country and experiencing a different lifestyle first-hand. I still find it hilarious being told that I have a funny accent. It’s amazing what you can learn from living among different cultures. I read somewhere that fewer than about 5 percent of college students study abroad. I definitely encourage anyone to take the initiative and do it. It’s the experience of a lifetime!
Oh London! It’s amazing! I have learned so much and met so many people from all over the world. Every day here brings along a new adventure. The people are great and it seems to be a very laid back place. I do miss the Vermont skies at night though!
Since arriving, I feel like we haven’t stopped going. The first few days we all stayed awake for over 48 hours – how, I’m not quite sure. We existed off pure excitement and wonder. In the first 24 hours we all came to know one another like we had been friends at school for years, which wasn’t true for most of us.
In those first few days I met about as many people as I know at CSC. Some I only waive to now, but others have come to be close friends. I was worried about the perception of Americans over here, but so far I haven’t come across much contempt. I think the ratio of international students to UK students has helped, since many people are just as worried about fitting in as I am.
Although I don’t dress the same way, so far no one has seemed to notice. Over the last few weeks the initial friendliness has dampened a bit for some people, but not the overall population. Everyone can’t be nice all the time though, and I expected as much.
I’m very glad that I chose to spend the semester in London with this program. The world is a much bigger and busier place than just Castleton and now I have the chance to explore it. London has so much history and culture and people.
The time I’ve spent here so far has been a great learning experience. I’ve gone to the Tate modern art gallery and the British Museum, learned how to expertly navigate the tube system and made new friends from around the globe. My time here so far has made the whole program worth it, and we have just barely started classes.