“So where are you staying?” This has been one of the number one questions people have asked me when they find out I’m studying abroad in London. It follows the classic ‘where are you from?’ that many locals have asked right away when I start talking (clearly a British accent isn’t a given having a British passport).
During this six week program, I am staying in a Camden Town. Camden is a district of London that is about a 30 minute tube ride from Big Ben, which many people would consider the center of the city. Camden itself is a super lively area, full of music venues, a bustling food and shop market and a large population of diverse individuals. Since its only been a week, I haven’t gotten a chance to completely explore the area but I’ve walked around a decent amount of this borough. I’ve been in to Camden Market and all the little shops and stalls are so unique! There’s everything from handcrafted candles and bottle-cap magnets, to bags made out of paper and other clothing stores. One thing I will admit to is that I still haven’t even eaten at the market yet and I know there’s so much amazing food I have to taste…hopefully by next time I’ll have tried some of the delicious food.
Besides the market, Camden also has lots of restaurants, pubs, and stores along the main streets. One thing that is super convenient is that our flat building is across the street from a large Sainsbury’s which is a super great, inexpensive grocery store, which makes us as college students very happy. The building I’m in is four floors of all CAPA students with people from many different schools in the US. I live with three other Pitt students but on our floor alone there are students from Minnesota, Arizona, and Colorado. Many of the people in our building are from Pitt so I know them already but even in the first couple days I met new people, both from Pitt and other schools.
When we first walked in it was really cool to see this apartment that we would all be calling home for the next six months. Overall, it’s been a good time in the flat and my flatmates and I get along really well. However, some challenges we’ve faced have been that the beds are bunked, which isn’t a huge deal, but having the top bunk has just proved difficult in some ways, especially since my bed is very squeaky and doesn’t feel very sturdy compared to others. We also all had to run to the grocery store our first day and start buying food, a weekly shop we were going to have to do and generally adjust to for our time here. Another challenge is the dryer situation. While I knew there would be no dryer in the flat before even leaving the States, having to plan accordingly when to do laundry so that there’s enough time for the clothes to dry was an extra thought we all had to get used to having. Facing these small challenges has been super easy, it just takes a little bit of adapting to get through and it’s great having this sense of independence with our own space on the program.
So far I’ve loved my time in London, especially living in Camden, and it’s only been a week! I can’t wait to continue to explore Camden further along with other parts of the city!