Hi everyone, welcome to my first blog post abroad in London! This has been one of the most hectic, yet exciting weeks of my life since it was my first time traveling solo internationally. Even before I stepped foot into my London dorm I was already learning valuable skills that I will use for the remainder of my stay. This included figuring out how to navigate the underground tube system from the airport and even tiny, yet significant, cultural awareness details such as standing to the right in the queue as you wait for the lift (aka elevator).
This past week, the staff at NYU London has been keeping students busy with orientation events that allow us to explore London’s history and attractions all while socializing and getting to know our peers. From picking up fast-paced dancing steps during our Irish ceilidh event to riding the London Eye to taste-tasting chocolate truffles in the luxurious Harrods department store, I’m relishing the wonderful opportunity to be immersed in the life of a Londoner. Below, I’ll share some special highlights from Week 1:
On Friday afternoon, my roommate and I made our way to the London Eye to meet the other NYU London students for our free ticketed ride. We were told to meet at the Jubilee Gardens, as no transportation was provided from our dorms. This meant that we had to quickly learn how to use the tube and ensure we transferred lines correctly. Though this was a little intimidating to me since I was afraid of getting lost, I realized it was an opportunity to rise up to the challenge with the help of my roommate. To make it on time to the ride at 4pm, we made sure to leave about 30 minutes before just in case problems arose. Using the CityMapper app, we decided on the quickest route to take and successfully switched lines to arrive at the Waterloo station. London’s tube system wasn’t as confusing as I thought it would be! We ended up having an amazing time taking in the 360 degree views of London from the top – it was an event to remember!
NYU London Walking Tour:
This Saturday, a member of the NYU London staff was kind enough to lead a three-hour walking tour starting in front of St. Paul’s Cathedral. We learned about the interesting history regarding how the cathedral remarkably survived the Blitz during World War II and remained largely unscathed! Next, as a group, we crossed Millennium Bridge to explore the outside of the Shakespeare’s Globe theater and admire the breathtaking view as boats made their way underneath the Tower Bridge. Around 1pm, we were given the chance to search for delicious lunch spots at the Borough Market. This market has almost every type of cuisine imaginable! Ranging from tasty tacos to traditional fish and chips to Spanish paellas, Borough Market has a wide variety of foods to choose from that will satisfy nearly every person’s palate! I personally enjoyed a bowl of vegetable pad Thai from Khanom Krok, a restaurant that serves authentic Thai street food. Served with noodles, fresh vegetables, homemade pad Thai sauce, and topped with crushed peanuts, my meal easily made my entire day! Finally, we made our way across Tower Bridge and ended our tour at the Tower of London.
Thank you for taking the time to read my first blog. Please stay updated on my study abroad experience via the Fund for Education Abroad website – I’ll be posting every weekend. Next week, you should expect to hear more about the start of my classes! :)