While studying abroad in London, I am living in an apartment-style situation with a group of other students from other Universities in the United States. Located in the Shepherd’s Bush area of the city, our building is behind a Sainsbury’s shopping centre, which makes finding groceries really easy! I found this new home through CAPA, as I voiced my intentions to live in flat style living rather than a home-stay situation. I am really happy to have made this decision to meet students to share this experience. It has definitely forced me to be open to new experiences and improve communication amongst the others. Our flat is made up of six kids in total, each of us attending a different college. This creates a really interesting dynamic as a group, with none of us knowing one another before arriving in London. We are all differing ages too, with ages ranging from twenty to twenty-three. In some ways, it reminds me a lot of my freshman year at Pitt. Being back in an assigned living situation definitely feels strange!
We have definitely had our fair share of challenges since arriving in London as well. We have all had to adjust to living in a shared space, with different living preferences. Some of us get up early and make breakfast, while others stay up and take long showers at night. These are all typical transitions of moving into a new location with new roommates, no matter the location. There are also less amenities than we may be used to at home. We have one washing machine to share between us and have to use a drying rack instead of a dyer. This has definitely been an adjustment; with a lot more loads of laundry being done. We also arrived during a particularly cold week in January. When we arrived, we came to a flat with a broken heating unit. We managed to fix after a couple of weeks, but it certainly didn’t help the moving in process! However, t was only a temporary problem and one that we now laugh about whenever anyone complains that they’re too hot! I have really enjoyed our living experience so far, and we are beginning to plan weekend trips together for later in the program. I’ve been glad to have this group around me throughout the transition process. I’m looking forward to seeing how far we come by the end of this experience!