Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Day 1: The arrival


The first day was very exciting, to say the least. I arrived at Heathrow Airport on Sunday at around 6a. The airport is fairly large but is very easy to navigate if you follow the signs. Once I had received my oyster card, I hopped on the tube and took a 40 min ride to South Kensington Station where our student quarters were located. From there I walked with my luggage from the tube station to our dorms. We were lucky enough to stay at the Chelsea Lightfoot Hall in the Chelsea area located in Zone 2.

Once I got to my room, it was a bit of a culture shock, to say the least. Coming from having my own home and an adequate amount of space to small living quarters that I had to share was a bit of an adjustment. At around 6p, everyone involved in our program met up in the lobby of our door where we all introduced ourselves and began to do an evening stroll of the neighborhood The area where we stayed was great. Everything was within walking distance from the grocery stores (Mark & Spencer store and Tesco), restaurants, pubs, shopping, you name it. We were also near Battersea Park, which was a beautiful park with walking trails and a zoo that I would end up visiting later in our time here. Here are a few pics below.

Where we stayed: NOTE: Housing may be subject to change during your time in London

Housing in the neighborhoods

My first dinner in London was Fish and Chips. It was DELICIOUS!!!!!!

Here are some tips for when you arrive on your first day:

TIP 1: If you can, pack as light as you can. Unless you plan on taking a taxi or Uber from the airport or to the tube station which is EXPENSIVE, you don't want to be lugging around large suitcases as I did. Plus you only have a limited amount of space in your room to store everything and I'm sure you will be buying things here to return home. 

TIP 2: Expect to meet with the members of your program the evening you arrive. Be sure to get acquainted with everyone from the teachers to the housing staff. It's good to have a good relationship with them.

TIP 3: YOU WILL BE WALKING!!!! I know I've said this already, but be prepared. I was so excited about being in a new area I went walking around getting a feel of the area myself only to later walk around some more with the group. So be sure to rest between our outings if you can/wear comfortable shoes. 
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