Hello from London

Hello, my name is Michael Stock and I am studying in London for the spring 2020 semester. I am from Pittsburgh originally, and live a little bit east of the city in Export. I am a big sports fan of the local teams like the Steelers, Penguins, and Pirates. I am also a fan of tennis and played while I was in high school. I also umpired in tennis over the last summer. One of my greatest interests is traveling. I enjoy exploring new places, and learning about different cultures. Along with this, one of my favorite subjects is history. I always enjoy researching the new places I travel to and their history. This historical context I believe adds a lot to the experience. Academically, I am currently a junior majoring in finance at the business school. I enjoy the analytical aspects of finance and looking into what drives our economy. I have always had an interest in business, and was curious about how markets worked. I chose to study abroad in London because it is a global city.

This is outlined by a few statistics. Around three hundred different languages are spoken every day in London. Fourteen various faiths are also practiced in the city. Perhaps one of the most surprising facts about London is that thirty-seven percent of the city was not born in the United Kingdom. In terms of studying abroad, one hundred three thousand international students are currently studying in London. This clearly shows how London is a global city, and one of the reasons I chose the city to study in. Another one of the important factors that went into my decision was that London is one of the top cities in the world for finance. In 2018 the financial industry in London contributed 132,000 billion pounds of the United Kingdom’s economy. Nearly three hundred sixty thousand people are employed in the financial sector in London. The city has been a center for banking for hundreds of years, with a focus on trade. Nowadays London specializes in currency exchange, and insurance companies. Some of the largest banks in the world are headquartered in London, including HSBC and Barclays. London is also home to the Bank of England, which acts as the central bank for the country. Another reason for studying in London is all of the green spaces and parks in the city. Forty percent of London is public green space, one of the highest totals for a major city in the world. Three thousand parks totaling thirty-five thousand acres cover the city. Nine of these parks are considered Royal parks. Kensington Gardens and Hyde Park are both located very close to my residence which is very nice.

Whether it be the history, developed financial sector, or green space, London has a lot to offer for me. I am looking forward to living, working, and experiencing the city. I believe it is a great and exciting opportunity to further my academic, professional and personal pursuits.