Study Abroad Midseason Awards!

Andrew Z. University College London, England

Date

November 12, 2014

So far on my three-month journey, I’ve been to four different countries with three more destinations to go, and since I have an hour to kill in the Venice Marco Polo airport, I decided that it’s time to announce my Study Abroad Midseason Awards. So, ladies and gentlemen, without further ado, I present to you the peaks of my ride through the UK, France, Ireland, and Italy…

BEST PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION: London

The Tube is the gold standard in public transportation; there isn’t a more efficient system in the world. With 270 stops over 250 miles of track, everything is in walking distance, which essentially makes the cab obsolete in most cases. (Although, this could just be because London traffic is the absolute worst.) The Paris Metro is a close second, but the 24/7 London bus system is a worthy tiebreaker, and once the Tube runs 24/7 starting in fall of 2015, this won’t even be a contest.

BIGGEST EXPECTATION-EXCEEDER: Dublin

It might have been that I caught the city on a gorgeous day, it might have been that I got my first decent night’s sleep since leaving for Europe, or it might have been all the Guinness running through my veins. Whatever it was, Dublin had my number. The River Liffey allowed for some spectacular photo ops, and the food was a major surprise. I had my share of Irish stew throughout the course of the weekend.

BEST FOOD: Florence

Put it this way, the panini I had at the train was better than anything I’ve eaten outside of Italy. I’ve never tasted fresher mozzarella, tomatoes, basil, and don’t get me started on the meats.

MOST BEAUTIFUL PEOPLE: Italy

In a nutshell, Italians are a sight for sore eyes. Nine out of ten women can pass for models there; it’s just science. The only caveat is that Italians are also the loudest people, which is great because they love clubbing, so the Americans can look at them without hearing them.

MVP: French Wine

A half-decent bottle can cost less than soda in Paris, making French wine my most valuable player. However, someone should have told me that there is no correlation between the price of the bottle and how easy it is to get out of bed the next morning.

LVP: The British Pound

The British Pound is the 5th most expensive currency in the world, equaling about 1.6 USD on a good day. It is also the only currency whose name describes what it does to you every time you spend it.