London, England: drinking tea, eating scones and going to the University of Greenwich (by Lara)

No, we aren’t directly in the city of London, that’s right.
However, Greenwich is a wonderful small place not far from the British capital. Before I headed for London, I used to drink tea every afternoon and this habit hasn’t changed a bit over here. To be honest my addiction to tea got even worse. 

The view from Tower of London

The first weeks were very exciting, full of activities, tea and more or less sleep. Within the Welcome week all of the Macromedia Students got to know each other and we found out that there are a lot more students from Germany than expected. The University of Greenwich is truly a special place to spend your semester abroad. It was established in 1890 and has a wonderful spirit when you take a walk on the campus, consisting of five major buildings named Queen Anne, Queen Mary, King William and Dreadnought on the one side and the Stockwell Library, which is a five minute walk away from the main campus. While having a short or not so short break, you can either spend your time at home doing coursework, drink a coffee at one of the University’s Starbucks Cafés, take a walk on the other side through the Greenwich foot tunnel or just sit at the Thames. 

For partying the university even has it’s own club called Lower Deck.
It is located under the Dreadnought building and offers a whole lot parties around freshers week with special discounts and theme parties like ABBA, Halloween and more, the whole Semester through.

Compared to the Macromedia it is a new world. For real, totally different, but yet so nice. As the Macromedia is rather small, we felt a little bit lost at first exploring the big campus of Greenwich. Once you know where everything is and how to get there, it doesn’t feel that big anymore and you just start feeling comfortable between all the big old buildings with its own flair.

Plus: Everyone at the University and in town is literally super friendly, helpful and full of British Humor. When it comes to the question of beautiful places or things you need to do/see, the people on campus will definitely help you.

Some of my must-visit places in Greenwich and around so far are for example the Greenwich Market, where you can get food in your lunch break. Canary Wharf is highly recommended at night. You could also go for a drink in one of the lovely cafes. If you like taking long walks, the Greenwich Park might be for you. Watching the sunset and city lights of London from the hill on the park where the Royal Observatory is, is always a good idea. 30 minutes away lies a small town named Blackheath. It is decorated with fairy lights all around the centre; very tiny yet so beautiful.

Besides doing University related stuff, which is important and highly recommended, London is also waiting to be explored. Taking the DLR, it is approximately 20 minutes ride until Bank Station, where you can change into the main Tube Lines and get everywhere in London.

Some of my must-do’s in London so far are definitely:

  • Getting food at Borough Market
  • Sipping a cup of coffee in Neal’s Yard (Covent Garden)
  • Walking through Chinatown
  • Feeling nostalgic in Nothing Hill (Portobello Road/Market)
  • Walking around Charing Cross
  • Searching for squirrels in Hyde Park or one of Londons other parks (the green space makes 18% of the whole city)
  • Strolling through Camden Town/Market
  • Watching “A Midsummernights Dream” at Shakespeare’s Globe

Sure, the casual Tourist attractions like London Eye, Buckingham Palace and Tower Bridge are also fantastic and need to be observed, but I’d rather go for the lightly smaller locations. Sometimes while strolling through London, I explore places I’ve never been before, like small Cafés and tiny alleys with street art. It surely never gets boring here.

colourful Portobello Road in Notting Hill

Two days of Uni a week might not seem that much, but don’t underestimate it, because the time of self studying is quite a lot. However, there’s enough time to explore London on the weekends. Traveling to other English cities, to Ireland or Scotland is also possible in your free time. That’s something I am planning to do within the next weeks. There are endless possibilities to spend your time. Beginning from sitting at a quite place to study or just watch the sun go down over where to join the best party and spending free time properly to get the full study abroad experience. 

It’s been a month since I moved to London which means only two months to go. Time is running so fast and if someone would ask me to stay after that time, I wouldn’t say no.

Well, it’s tea time now, see you!