London is such a large city that I was initially worried about having a very long commute because we were warned that our commutes could be up to one hour each way. However, I got quite lucky and my commutes to work and school are approximately thirty minutes each way. My internship site and my school are also very close together so, if there is a day where I have school and work, I only have to walk about five minutes.
I prefer walking to and from school and it normally takes twenty-five minutes. I like walking because it gives me time to observe London and see new things whereas if I took the tube constantly, I wouldn’t see anything. On the other hand, on the days that I have my internship, I will take the tube because it is quicker and only takes about fifteen minutes and I’m constantly worried about being late! This is very similar to how I get around at Pitt. On campus during a normal semester, I walk to class and to work every day. I only take the bus if I’m going off campus and into downtown or another part of Pittsburgh. Just like my commute in London, I enjoy walking in Pittsburgh, when I can, to see more of the city and the environment.
One thing I dislike is really just the amount of time it takes, even though I am very lucky compared to other students. In Pittsburgh, I have never had to walk more than ten minutes to get to class and going from a ten minute commute to a thirty minute commute was an adjustment! One piece of advice I have for students looking to travel abroad in London is to not take the tube and bus everywhere just because it’s easier. You see so much more of the city when you walk and I think walking allows you to become more acquainted with your surroundings which is important if you are walking around in the dark. Another tip I have is to plan out your commute or plan out wherever you are going before you leave your flat. There is nothing worse than having to stare at your phone or stare at a tube map to figure out where you are going. My favorite app to use is called CityMapper and I like it because it automatically updates when there are tube closures so you don’t go to a station and it is actually closed. Overall, commuting in London is super easy once you get the hang of it and there are so many apps and resources out there to help you!