Photo By: Deiah
So I have been lucky enough to study abroad in London, England this semester and I cannot tell you how amazing this place is! I know you all are deep into the semester but over here we have only just begun the first week of classes! Now I do not live in central London where Big Ben, the London Eye and Parliament resides. London is separated into hundreds of different borrows and I live only a 20 minute train ride from central London in a borrow called Surbiton where my university Kinston resides. Traffic here is madness, people on bikes ride faster than cars and they rule the streets. There are bus stops on every street corner and they won’t stop for you if you’re crossing the street, so always mind the signs. But to be quite honest with you, it’s so easy to walk everywhere! I went from walking 2 miles each day in Kansas to now averaging 9 miles a day here. There are pubs, clubs, grocery stores, fresh food markets, endless gift shops, clothing stores, coffee shops, ice cream stops and so much more all along the famous Thames River that runs right through the centre of Surbiton. London is a city with over 6 million people, but Surbiton was an easy place to live outside of the hustle and bustle of city life and it allowed me to adjust a little better. There certainly are no open spaces, all of the buildings are built with 1 meter of space between each one and yards aren’t commonly very large. Another big difference is when walking down the street, you will hear so many knew languages being spoken as London seems to be a very open, welcoming city to many diverse cultures. All these people in the city, both British and not, have been very nice, friendly and helpful! For example, when I first didn’t know how to read the Underground rail road system or was lost searching for eggs in the grocery store because they aren’t in the refrigerated section but beside the bread, people were unbelievably kind and helpful. Now grocery shopping is another big difference here! It’s actually much cheaper to buy fresh fruits and vegetables than back in America and people bag the groceries themselves while also reusing bags. If you do not bring your own bags for your items, you have to pay for plastic bags to carry your items. Then remember, everything you buy, you have to carry it all back home! Walking everywhere or using the bus has also been quite an experience! Everywhere you look there are potted flowers, smell of coffee, signs out for “Fresh Made Ice Cream.” The weather here so far has been very unpredictable, very rainy then sunny, so just like Kansas that it can’t make up its mind. But I do love everything so faor about my home away from home, most of all, my temporary new school! Although Kingston University differs from McPherson on student body with having over 25,000 students, the way they specify their courses minimizes the student to teacher ratio and my biggest class is actually only 35 students making it feel very comfortable. The teachers are also very social, one-on-one, and you can tell they get to know their students personally so it is very similar to home and it does make adjusting much easier. With classes just starting, I’m finding they also hold one of the biggest differences from home, as they don’t have homework, only readings in class and lectures once a week. All four of my courses only give one test the entire semester and then a final! So let’s hope I do well on those as they will be all I am graded on. So with my semester just starting, I hope I can create a good rhythm with such a different type of college setting. The differences I’m finding here were not at all what I was expecting but this place is better than I could have ever imagined and I hope for all to continue!!
Until Next Time!