It is officially the beginning of week 2 of my study abroad trip in London, England and I feel fully adjusted and acclimated to the city. I live in Shepherd’s Bush, a small residential area in West London, in a flat with four other students from Pitt. The area is super convenient because the tube station (the main method of transportation–more on that later) is located directly across from our flat. We also have Sainsbury’s, a grocery store chain, next door and a large shopping mall less than a mile away.
I really love Shepherd’s Bush because it reminds me of a neighborhood from home due to its lower population level and fun local shops and restaurants. It also is cool that we get to spend time exploring this neighborhood because I feel like it may be overlooked by the average England tourist. However, one aspect of my flat that I am struggling to deal with is the lack of air-conditioning. It gets up to 75-80 degrees during the day, and even with the windows open it is way too hot to be comfortable in the room. I am planning on fixing this soon by buying a fan at the mall.
To get to my internship and classes, the main method of transportation I use is the tube. The tube is great because it is easy to understand and navigate, and, for the most part, gets you to where you want to go fast. Nevertheless, a more scenic way to travel is by the double-decker red buses, which are ‘classic’ London but take way more time. I have also travelled via the overground train for day-trips, which is another scenic option. These methods of transportation have been an adjustment because at Pitt I usually am able to walk everywhere, and rarely take cars or public transportation.
My schedule consists of an urban studies class, an internship class, and my actual internship at Scottish Pacific. The first day of my internshipclass, our instructor told us to “suck the marrow” out of this experience, which is an old British saying that means to get the most out of your time. That is my broad goal for this study abroad trip. To accomplish this, I plan to (1) maximize my potential to learn more about the culture of England through exploring the city and (2) gain transferable classroom and professional skills from my classes and internship that I can apply to my future endeavors.