Just the start!

Alyssa Benjamin Pre-Health Semester in London, England


January 14, 2016

I cannot believe that it has been 2 weeks since I have arrived in London. Time has passed so quickly and it feels like home already. I have never lived in a city, so that has been a really big adjustment. I have dodged traffic, walked over 10 miles every day, and become a regular on the Tube. London is such an incredible city. One thing I have noticed is how polite everyone is. People wait anxiously in the que and always say “cheers” when you let them through. I have seen so many things already, and yet there is still so much to see. Luckily I have 5 more months of exploring to do.

I want to say that Arcadia did a fantastic job with orientation. We were kept very busy to keep us from being homesick. I saw and learned so many things in the first couple of days. I learned how to travel on my own and used that knowledge to visit major tourist sites. My roommate and I visited Parliament, Buckingham Palace, Greenwich, and went to a pub with our hall to watch a Liverpool match. One night we went to a winter festival at the Southbank Centre. There was a delectable waffle food truck and an adorable Rekorderlig cider lodge. It was at that moment, standing under the lights looking out at Big Ben that I fell in love with my new home. I can’t wait for more moments that take my breath away.

There are a few things to adjust to and a few lessons I've learned along the way. The first obstacle I ran into was getting a phone. Even though there is wifi all over the city I think it is important to get a phone with a British number. If you get your phone unlocked in the US you can get a relatively inexpensive SIM card that allows you to call and text local numbers. Another obstacle is budgeting. Food and activities can be expensive. Cooking for yourself is a great way to save money. There are also tons of free activities to do throughout the city and Timeout London is a great website for finding them. Most museums in the city are also free so there is never a reason not to explore.

That's all for now but I will be posting soon about that thing I came here to do…. school!


England Orientation