Navigating London


Every day I either catch the tube to get to school or work and it’s amazing how reliable the underground is. My flat is closest to West Kensington Station, where I can get on the District line, or Baron’s Court Station, which offers the District or Piccadilly line. CAPA is located two stops east of West Kensington at Gloucester Road off of the District or Piccadilly line and my work is located about forty-five minutes away at Mansion House off of the District line. Both my work and school are in really cool and interesting locations. CAPA is located in Earl’s Court which is a very posh neighborhood that has a lot of charming pubs and is a short walk away from Stamford Bridge where Chelsea FC plays their matches. Meanwhile my workplace is a WeWork site that is located on the River Thames near The City and right around the corner from St. Paul’s Cathedral. It’s really interesting to work in a WeWork site because you meet and interact with different types of people who work all work in different fields. My favorite part about my commute is that you get time to prep for meetings or for class. Back in Pittsburgh, I take the bus every day to class and I’m about a ten-minute ride from campus and I never get the chance to decompress on the way home or be productive with my time. I feel like I get more done when on the tube than I would be at home, especially because the only other alternative is doing nothing with no cell reception underground. The one aspect of the tube which is becoming unbearable is rush hour traffic. There’s nothing worse than working for nine hours and then standing face to face with strangers for an hour-long commute home.

If possible, I would recommend students who study abroad with CAPA to try to live in Earl’s Court or West Kensington given its proximity to school. I’ve met students who have over an hour long commute to CAPA who either live in homestays in the suburbs or in distant neighborhoods such as Camden. My other piece of advice is to explore as much as possible. I’ve found that the best way to learn the tube is to use it and take advantage of how connected London is. There’s no comparable form of public transportation back home in the U.S. and I think it’s best to immerse yourself immediately so you get the hang of navigating the underground quicker.