My First Week in London
by: Andrew Simon, London Intern
When I was boarding the plane and getting ready to leave for my semester in London I did not know what to expect. After all, this was going to be my first time in Europe. In addition, this was going to be the first time I was out of the country by myself. I was not going with any friends from America and did not know anybody in the country so needless to say I was a little nervous. After almost missing my flight on my layover in Dublin Ireland, I finally arrived in London and walked into my apartment filled with five other students who would become the friends I pretty much do everything with! Together we set out to explore the city we would all call home for the next few months.
The first thing that I immediately noticed immediately was the decorum on the tube. While traveling on the tube nobody speaks to each other and most people are engrossed in reading their morning paper. This was the opposite of the subway which I frequently take in my home state of New York. On the subway people are very loud and often having conversations and sometimes even playing music. Even if you are talking at a normal volume the other people on the tube seem to get upset with you. I guess people in London like their quiet!
An amazing fact about London is how much the different towns differ from one another. You could be in a high paced, loud, and eccentric place like Piccadilly Circus one moment or in a more relaxed, ethnically diverse area with great food like Edgeware Road where I live the other. If you travel five minutes in any direction you could be in a completely different and interesting area. The diversity of London to me is what makes it such a wonderful city.
My favorite aspect of London that I noticed within minutes of being there was how they are able to keep the feel of a country with a rich history but at the same time make it modernized. One amazing way they do this is by keeping some of the amazing buildings that existed hundreds of years ago. The inscriptions and attention to detail that it must have taken to finish these buildings is truly a sight to marvel. When you stop to think that these buildings were made hundreds of years ago it becomes all the more amazing! At the same time they keep the city modern by having shopping outlets and some newer, yet still unbelievable, buildings like the Shard. It has recently been constructed and is the tallest building in all of London. From my room in my apartment on the tenth floor I can see the blending of the old and the new in the amazing and iconic skyline of London.
In short, my first week in my new home has been everything I could ask for and more. I have met some amazing new people and seen sights that I have yearning for my whole life. As I look forward to my trip I am excited to experience even more places and sights in this vibrant city.
This past weekend a group of my friends and I decided to go to Budapest, but wanted to go with a group because we were unsure of what we wanted to do and how to plan our trip. Booking the trip through WSA was the best idea we ever had. It was basically all planned out for us (excluding flights). It was great because there were plenty of things planned for us that were included in the package, but there was also a bit of free time for us to explore the city and do the things we were most interested in. I really enjoyed the caving and thermal baths we visited during our trip! Also the hostel that was booked for us through WSA was great and our tour guide, Bogi, was amazing! I would definitely recommend this trip to everyone and am happy to say that I will be booking more trips with WSA in the future!Danielle Maclain, Concordia University - Irvine ~ AIFS Richmond, Spring 2015
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