The most common advice I got from everyone, who heard that I was going to spend my semester abroad in London: I shouldn’t forget to bring an umbrella with me. Because everybody knows…it’s aaaaalways raining in London. Otherwise it’s foggy and cold.
I have to admit that I’ve never been to England before, so I had no experiences to compare with and I almost felt a little bit jealous of the others, who talked about sunny shiny weather in San Diego, Sydney, Bangkok or even Seville. But when I arrived in the afternoon at the 11th of September at the Gatwick Airport, I couldn’t have laughed more about the fact that it was actually sunnier and warmer than it had been in Stuttgart the entire week.
It was pretty amazing to experience the first moments of London city and student life during best summer weather conditions. Except for photographical documentation of course, photos and sun aren’t often a good match, but here are some of the best shots:
One of the best decisions I could have made was to fly to London a week earlier for the International Students Welcome Program. Not only because it was one additional week to orientate in a new environment and get used to all things different. Luckily, people in London are soo helpful with everything. They even have it written onto the streets, on which side you have to look for crossing cars. You can see that on one of the photos below. But also, if you don’t want to be around other German people the whole time, the program is a great opportunity to meet other students from other countries. With whom you are forced to speak English of course. Even if the games may remind you of being in first grade, it can also be a lot of fun of being childish again… But of course it is not mandatory, and a lot of the information I’ve received at the program, I heard at the introduction week for the second time.
Even if I don’t really like to admit it, I was a little bit worried about the whole studying part. The experience of living on your own in a new environment, making new friends every day and in addition to that, studying at a new university in a foreign language… It can be a bit overwhelming. But I have to say that it’s great. Yes, there is a lot of work, especially self-study, to do, the professors expect a lot of their students, but the courses are chosen carefully. So at some point you can see the matching points and this makes it a lot easier to remember all the stuff that should be learned. Moreover, you can easily get in contact with other Erasmus students and students of British origin, because in the courses, we’re all together and there is no such thing as separation. All in all, the University of Greenwich is a very multicultural university.
I put together some kind of bucket list, which can be useful for those of you planning on spending their semester abroad in London like me:
- One time you have to try English Breakfast and Teatime…if there is not enough time, you can mix them up and experience it all in one go.
- Get a new view on the sights and go on a thames river boat trip; tip: you don’t actually have to go on a sightseeing boat, at the normal daily boat connection you can see all of them too and it’s cheaper.
- Do a little vintage shopping and visit Camden. Tip: if you’re openminded for crazy, not vintage stuff, search for the Cyberdog store and get suck in a whole new universe…
- Walk as much as you can! London is such a great city and of course the tube and bus connections are great, but there is so much more to see. You would be surprised by what you would have missed.
- Last but not least if you get here, you will have the greatest time of your life, I’m sure of that. And you really have to join some societies of the university, because it makes the whole experience even better than you think.
So that’s the end of my first report. But if you would like to get more information onmy life here in London, feel free to contact me via email firstname.lastname@example.org
Lovely regards from London,