My study abroad journey continues…
Our new flat mates arrived on Saturday and we were excited to see who would be joining us! To welcome everyone, I posted a letter on the door outlining my belief that if we sat down as a flat together to have dinner now and then it would help create a nice home-away-from-home environment and help us build a small network of friends that will no doubt grow over the term, cut food costs and allow us indulge in some nice meals thanks to my passion for cooking! And so we sat down for our first dinner on Monday night. Two of my new housemates were eager to learn how to cook, so I was able to relax with a glass of wine and instruct them from a distance…that’s what it feels like to be a boss!
Moving into the start of our orientation week we had our appointments to sign up and receive our ID cards. It was nice to finally make it official…I am a study abroad student from Brisbane, studying in London. The thought gives me tingles each time and cannot wait for the opportunities that await me! Our first trip was to the British Library and we got to see some of the earliest pieces of art, literature and music written down – Magna Carta, The Beatles and so much more!
Wednesday brought us to the end of our induction activities with a group activity and chance to explore the campus. The prize for the winners of the group activity was four passes up the Shard, the tallest building in the European Union, to enjoy the view of London. Three of us are scared of heights which lead to one very enthusiastic leader and three less than excited followers. We managed to get over half of the activities done, however as three of us don’t want the prize, I dare say by the end of the week we won’t be bringing our poor leader too much enjoyment!
Getting to know London
As part of orientation we also visited Camden Town. The best way to describe Camden is ‘alternative’. Beautiful vegan restaurants, which for me is great as although I am not a vegan, having intolerances to gluten and lactose can make eating out difficult. Places like Camden help me have a carefree afternoon forgetting my intolerance worries! I finished the evening celebrating Australia day with one of my new friends from Brazil with a quiet drink in Leicester Square, funnily enough watching a replay of the Big Bash Final!
To follow our day of exploring a couple of my flatmates and I made our first trip to a Stratford Westfield Shopping Centre since arriving in London, and to say it was huge is a complete understatement. This felt like a small city. It had to be at least four times bigger than Garden City in Brisbane. Beautiful view from the outside with loads of shopping to be done, a place I will definitely have to return to!
Next week is the start of classes and my placement, for which I am extremely excited to begin. I have the weekend to relax and book some holidays through the university, with weekends away to Scotland, Wales, France and other day tours throughout England on offer. Exciting times ahead!