Today is day five of my London adventure, and the first chance that I have had to sit and compose a post on this blog. I never expected that going abroad was so hectic. Basically I have been running around like a chicken without a head getting course and orientation stuff out of the way and getting acclimated to the city, and I have loved every second of it. The idea of studying in a foreign country is not so “foreign” to me, seeing how I have just returned from studying in Rome for the summer, but this trip is nothing what Rome prepared me for.
London is a monster all its own. The city is a complex web of tube (subway) lines, bus routes, and sidewalks that will make an American student’s head spin, but with a little effort and a lot of time the web can become untangled, and that is exactly what our group has been doing. Every day we have had to go into the city and find different spots in the city on our own, in order to better acclimate ourselves with the geography. For example, on the second day in the country we set out on a trek along the Thames, with our final destination being the London Eye. Each day a little expeditionary fleet of Americans sets out from the safety of our dorm complex and embarks on small, but epic, adventures into the wild frontier that is the city of London.
Along with our exploration, my lack of free time can be attributed to orientation here at Goldsmiths. The series of events that has transpired during our orientation here at Goldsmiths have been quite trying on the human body. It began on Monday with a long meeting, which detailed the city and how the college works. This event reminded me of Lafayette’s orientation, but that was not all. We also have to run to and fro in order to get our class schedule and book lists. The process of getting acclimated in a new country is not an easy process, but eventually things begin to wind down, I hope.
Now that I have presented a small piece of what I have experienced, maybe I can make a comparison to that of an American institution. At an American school, such as Lafayette, there is an on campus book store where one can purchase their text books and other odds and ends. In London there are book stores but they are not on the campus, therefore acquiring class books turns into a fun adventure in and out of book shops all about the city. Also, in America there are dining halls right on campus, where a person can stroll in casually and have a nice meal that has been prepared for them. Here, across the pond, there really are no dining halls. I need to either go to the store and buy groceries and cook, or go out to a restaurant or a take-away place and get a meal.
London is a hustle and bustle place that is vastly different from the United States, but little by little I am starting to get used to it and the excitement of being abroad.