London, UK – “Time flies by…“

… and suddenly it is November. The leaves on the trees are changing their colours and on Campus silently a routine came over the weeks. The first rush of Parties wore off and between Halloween parties and occasional nights in the bar, the students are in full study mode as the first midterm assessments are coming up soon. Nevertheless, we took the time to give you a little insight into life in the London metropolis. Be curious!

Street decoration in Soho

It is no rumor that London is one of the most expensive cities in the world. Especially for food not produced in England, you have to dig deep into your pockets, which becomes noticeable at latest at the checkout. But that is the price of living on an island. After the Brexit, it won’t be easier, because there will be more tax on products and sometimes you can experience it first hand when some products are not available for weeks, or the whole country is suddenly running out of gas. Even the typical freshly baked German bread is in short supply here. Instead, the metropolis shines with a large selection of Indian, Chinese, and vegan products.

Mercato Metropolitano in a church in Mayfair, London – mainly offering Italian food, but also german craft beer and malaysian street food

Transport links in London are extensive, reliable and there are many alternatives to reach your destination. For students, there is the option of getting an Oyster Card, which ensures travel around the city at more affordable prices. Unfortunately, it isn’t easy to get home, especially after 12 pm, so creative solutions are often required.

Oyster Card

When comparing the British cityscape with the German, distinctions have to be made according to zones or regions. At the Harrow Campus in Zone 4, it is much dirtier than in Germany, and there are a lot of tiny terraced houses, most of which have comparatively high-priced car brands such as BMW, Mercedes, or Tesla parked in front of their doors. On the other hand, at the Marylebone Campus, in Zone 1, the cityscape is comparatively very clean and tidy. Every little side street has a small café or bakery with great treats. The main streets, such as Baker and Oxford Streets, have a vast selection of restaurants and shops for every price range.

Corner at Borough Market

In addition to the daily university routine, some students visit the Regents gym, located directly on Oxford Street and belonging to the University of Westminster, to keep fit. All the necessary sports equipment is available to complete a successful workout. Also, sports classes such as yoga, HIIT, Spin, or BoxFit are offered daily. In addition, many students visit bars, clubs, or bars that become clubs after a few drinks on the weekends or after a stressful day at university. The metropolis offers many opportunities to spend the evening. You are already allowed to visit clubs from the age of 18 and with a valid ID. Museums, such as the National History Museum, cinemas, or various sporting events, keep you busy during the day. Last Saturday, for example, the Jacksonville Jaguars played the Miami Dolphins, and we were there live in the stadium. It was a nerve-wracking game with goosebumps feeling from the moment we entered the stadium, to the singing of the national anthem by thousands of people, to the last throw by the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Jacksonville Jaguars against Miami Dolphins in the Wembley Stadion

But also celebrations such as Guy Fawkes Night on 5 November, which symbolizes a bonfire as King James I escaped an assassination attempt, is celebrated in London with fireworks on every corner on this day and provide variety. On the 4th November was Dewali, a great Indian festival, comparable with Christmas for Christians. Since I have a lot of Indians in my friend group, we went out to eat at an Indian restaurant and celebrated afterwards in a Flat-kitchen with Indian sweets and made Henna tattoos ourselves. Even the Residential assistants organized a little Event where we would draw Rangolis (type of Mandalas) with chalk on campus. 

But we are especially looking forward to the coming celebration: Christmas. Here in London, there are already plenty of decorations and the opening of the „Christmas market“ is still to come, but we can’t wait to tell you about it in our next blog!

Christmas lights in central London

Your Jasmin and Alexandra