The biggest challenge I faced abroad was missing my loved ones in the states. Trying to communicate across the world with an eight hour time difference was extremely difficult. To future study abroad students, I would recommend agreeing with your loved ones on a certain day or time to catch up. Once my family and I established this, I became much less homesick. This allowed me to relieve stress, knowing I would be able to hear from them each week.
Every week, I made it a goal of mine to try a new type of food. After trying many international dishes, I came to the conclusion that I had fallen in love with Indian food. London’s Indian food scene spans across the entire city; however, the best place to go for Indian food is along Brick Lane. In the borough of Tower Hamlets, this street was made famous as the curry capital of the UK. This is an incredible spot to go to if you like authentic curries. If I had to recommend a more accessible chain throughout the city, Masala Zone would be my pick. This restaurant has Indian roots and decorates their restaurants respectively. The decor, music, and food is rich in culture and absolutely phenomenal. Masala Zone definitely has great competition throughout the city, but I think it will always stand strong as a result of the experience it provides for each of its customers.
If I had to recommend three top sites in London, they would definitely be seeing a show in Covent Garden, Exhibition Road. and The London Eye. Covent Garden is recognized as the main theater and entertainment area in the city. It is in West London and home to various productions daily, including Phantom of the Opera and Les Miserables. During my first month abroad, I went to go see Mamma Mia. I was filled with happiness, singing my heart out to ABBA with a room filled with hundreds of fans. Covent Garden truly captures London’s appreciation for the arts, and it something special to be a part of.
Exhibition Road is located in close proximity to the CAPA Learning Center. The road is in between The Natural History Museum and The Victoria and Albert Museum (as well as MANY other galleries along the strip). These two museums were my absolute favorites, conveying the complexity of the world and its treasures. After class, one of my favorite things to do was walk down to the museum to see the sun set above it. The architecture alone is enough to satisfy one when they visit.
Lastly, I would recommend visiting The London Eye. This staple of the city is magical and gives visitors the chance to soar above London and see it through a new perspective. When I took a trip around the wheel, I went close to sunset. I urge any future visitors to do the same! Watching the sunset over the Thames River and Big Ben was something I will never forget.