It’s officially been two weeks since I’ve landed in London! The past fourteen days have been a whirlwind of orientation icebreakers, walking tours, and classes. This feels like the first time I’ve been able to reflect on the time I have spent thus far.
Before arriving in-country, one of the aspects I was most excited to discover was my accommodations. Our program, CAPA, has housing in a variety of exciting neighborhoods in London and generally assigns students based on proximity to their internships.
I was assigned to Richmond Court, a flat that lies on the border of the Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham and the Royal Borough Kensington and Chelsea. Kensington is a more upscale neighborhood with beautiful Victorian architecture, embassies, and of course Kensington Palace! It also contains the Victoria and Albert Museum, the Museum of Natural History, and Royal Albert Hall. Hammersmith has more of an eclectic feel, with concert venues, trendy pubs, and shops. It has been great living in an area with so many things to do at my fingertips! There are two different underground lines as well as many bus stops around, so getting around has been easier than I expected.
I live in a flat with four other women. Two of my roommates are from the University of Minnesota and the other two are also from Pitt. None of us have met before arriving, so it has been great getting to know each other! We were lucky to have one of the larger flats in the residence, but it still feels quite cramped in comparison to the apartments I have lived in back in the States. Throughout my time in college, I have been fortunate to have only had to share a room with one other person and a living space with two other people, so this has been quite an adjustment for me. While my roommates are lovely and the cleaning service at the accommodation has been a great help, living with 4 other people is just a bit more work with basic things like time in the bathroom and space in the kitchen.
The rest of Richmond Court has more 5 person flats and two person studios. Throughout orientation, it was great getting to know the other students living in the neighboring flats. Richmond Court represents a diverse mix of schools such as the University of Minnesota, University of Colorado-Boulder, and Arizona State University. We have formed a nice little American community here in London, and I’m excited to get to know the other students on this program!