Blog Post 1: Getting Started in London

My name is Vincent DiMartino and I am from Long Island, New York. I am a rising junior at the University of Pittsburgh and I am majoring in Finance and minoring in Economics. I thought that I was never going to study abroad. I felt that I could never take a full semester out of college by being abroad and away from all my friends. However, in my Financial Accounting class, (shoutout Professor Cade) I was presented with this opportunity to study abroad for the summer. It was something that really appealed to me as it allowed me to go abroad, but to not miss out on the college experience. Another factor in my decision was that I was struggling to find an internship for the summer. This program offers an internship to go along with the class. This seemed like a no-brainer to me as it will give me real work experience and the opportunity to live in London for six weeks. So I took this opportunity and took off for London. I will be in London for six weeks, and this is the end of the first week. So far, I have absolutely fallen in love with the city. It is such an amazing city with so many things to do. We did a bus tour that covered the main tourist sights such as Buckingham Palace and Big Ben. The history behind these great buildings is something that will continue to amaze me. Even the “insignificant” buildings can be hundreds of years old with a very interesting story behind them. While those sites are amazing, the best part has been walking the streets and seeing all the culture and the small little shops and restaurants that line the streets. It really allows you to live life as someone who was born here. There are so many different neighborhoods to explore within the city, all with their unique qualities and attributes. I am staying in Islington, which is one of the many areas where many young people live and go for recreation. It is a neighborhood that is full of pubs and restaurants, while also having a market on certain days where you can buy all kinds of items. It is something that is really unique to the area and the city. I have also been to Covent Gardens which is another great area for shopping and dining. Brick Lane is another area that is also full of life. There are so many walkable areas of the city, however most locations are very far from each other. The neighborhoods don’t really flow into each other, which makes commuting longer. Most daily commutes are an hour long which can be a pain. However, the neighborhood of Islington is so great that I can spend hours there if I don’t feel like going far one day. Overall, I am having such a great time exploring this city. It is such a new and unique  experience and I am extremely glad that I chose to study abroad. I can’t wait to continue to explore the city and the country.