Whaaat? It’s already over? The last couple of weeks in London passed by so quickly. No wonder, with all the different things that we had to do in our semester abroad. Helena and Christina already wrote about moving into the halls, our first weeks and Christmas in London in detail. Therefore, I will give you an overview of our unforgettable time in this amazing city.
At first, we moved into our new homes, the Halls of Residence of the University of Westminster at the Harrow Campus. There we met out flat mates from all over the world that became our second family for the time we were there and maybe some will become lifetime friends. Who knows?
In the first weeks, we also had to get used to a different culture, as London is a place where lots of distinct ethnic groups, religions and cultures come together. You can really describe it as a big melting pot with a beautiful variety of different people.
We also had to learn how to study in a different system. Here Imainly talk about the graphic design courses that I took. Our assignments were divided into typography exercises, making a sketchbook and a final project for the course Typography & Communication and creating a homepage for all our research, writing an essay and again a final project for the course Authorship & Interaction. Compared to our studies in Germany, we were freer in choosing the theme for our final project as we had a general outline, which brought us a wide field of different topics we can select.
What I really appreciate about the university was the opportunity to join different societies. These are groups of people, who share the same interest in something (for example: sports, music, photography, anime, film – it can actually be anything people are interested in). There you can easily meet a lot of people, make new friends and plan activities together. It’s a pity that we don’t have something like that at the Macromedia.
In our free time, we had the wonderful opportunity to discover the beautiful city of London. There are the amazing sights like Big Ben & Houses of Parliament, London Eye, Buckingham Palace, Tower of London, Tower Bridge, Westminster Abbey, St. Paul’s Cathedral, Kensington Palace, Westminster Cathedral and so much more. Nevertheless, behind all of these tourist attractions London is even more lovely with its little pubs, beautiful parks and very interesting museums. Furthermore, there are other beautiful places in Great Britain too which many of us visited. For example, Brighton, Bath, Wales, Edinburgh, Oxford and so on.
Another big deal in London of course is Harry Potter. Thus, if you like the boy who lived and his friends you should definitely visit King’s Cross Station and platform 9 ¾. There you have the opportunity to take a picture of you running into the wall with a trolley just as Harry did. Next to the platform, there is the 9¾-Shop where you can buy lots of different HP merchandise. Furthermore, for the big Harry Potter fans there is the “Warner Bros. Studio Tour – The Making of Harry Potter”. I spent a whole day there and can highly recommend visiting the tour. It was a magical day.
Before Christmas most of us had to finish our assignments which meant a stressful couple of weeks, but after that exhausting period, we appreciated our Christmas holidays even more. Although many of our German fellow students left London earlier to celebrate with their families at home, some of us celebrated Christmas and New Year’s Eve together in London. Indeed London is an amazingly beautiful city at Christmas time. With all the bright lights in the streets, lovely music in the shops and all the smiling faces around us, you get in the Christmas mood very easily.
Most of us experienced some problems as well as many moments of happiness in the last couple of months. But as we faced everything as a group – not only the happy but also the bad and sad moments – it all turned out well in the end and we had a great time together.
My personal conclusion (maybe others see it differently):
I expected to learn a lot in my semester abroad, but I actually did learn much more. I did not only learn about design and improve my English but I learned about different cultures, religions and how to live with them as I shared my flat with a Greek, an Australian, one British and two Chinese girls. Most of all I learned about myself, I found out about a huge amount of things that I love or hate that I did not know before I came here. For example: I kind of look good with a headscarf (a Muslim friend that I met here taught me how to bind it), I love the traditional English Breakfast & Tea and the traditional English pies. Overall, I can say that I would choose London for a semester abroad again at any time.