My daily commute is quite simple to our host institution, CAPA. I walk around 3 minutes to the Camden Town tube station from my flat. Then, I take the Northern line southbound via Kennington to Leicester Square. From there, I take the Piccadilly line westbound using any of the ending locations to Gloucester Road. From the Gloucester Road station, I walk about 5 minutes to the CAPA center. This process takes between 30-40 minutes depending on the wait for each train to arrive at the two stations. My commute home is going the opposite way on both lines and, therefore, takes the same amount of time. There are faster ways to get to CAPA, but this way is the simplest and is about a five-minute difference in timing. Another important point to note is that our commute of 30-40 minutes is short in relation to the average commute in London which is around an hour and 15 minutes.
At Pitt, I was fortunate enough to have a dorm that was at the center of campus, so all of my classes and the major landmarks were within a 15-minute walking distance. I used the cities and the school’s bus system infrequently during my freshman year. I mainly took the bus when I was too lazy to walk up Cardiac Hill to go to Trees Hall or when exploring different parts of Pittsburgh. Next year, I will be living off campus, so my commute is a bit lengthier, but will still be manageable on foot for the most part. So, the commute in London is very different from mine at Pitt.
Before studying abroad in London, I had limited experience with public transportation. Even from a perspective with a narrow background, London’s tube system is by far the best public transportation system that I have used. The London tube system is quiet, clean, and straightforward. I like being able to read a book or the newspaper while on my commute to continue enriching my education while computing. Outside the tube stations, there are representatives from local newspapers that give out free newspapers. During such a crucial time in British politics with Brexit negotiations heating up and Theresa May stepping down, newspapers provide the day to day insight that keeps us informed like true Londoners. There is not much to dislike about the tube other than its congestion during rush hour and other weird times, which is completely understandable, and that it closes down at midnight which limits late night options whenever necessary.
When studying abroad in London, the first thing one should do is download the app Citymapper. This app shows the best route to any place in London and helps when you inevitably get lost. Other than that, take advantage of the provided free travel in Zones 1 and 2 to explore all the great neighborhoods in London.