With every new week in London, I am becoming more and more comfortable living, working, and learning in this new environment. One of the biggest adjustments was to my new classes at the capa center. During this program, I am taking Shakespeare in London, a literature course that outlines and analyzes Shakespeare’s works and influences throughout the different stages of his life, as well as the Global Internship Course, a course about the obstacles and benefits of being an international intern. Having a very limited knowledge of Shakespeare and having never taken a literature class at Pitt, Shakespeare in London is an extremely refreshing course unlike anything else I’ve taken since starting college. The course is extremely engaging and London is the perfect place to learn about this topic as it is all set in London and we were able to see Shakespearean shows at The Globe Theatre. The internship course is also extremely beneficial because it covers very relevant topics at the same time as we are experiencing them firsthand at our internships.
When comparing my experience to my life at Pitt, it is easy to see why there was an adjustment period upon my arrival. The harshest difference academically was that my classes here are 3.5 hours long, which initially seems daunting but has been overall a good thing because it helps all of the topics we discuss flow together better and gives me more time to explore the city on other days. My living situation in London has also been a change, but in a very positive way. I live in a 5-person flat in the neighborhood of Islington. While 5 people is a bit more crowded than I’m used to at Pitt, it helps keep our flat lively and exciting. Living in Islington is not that different than life at Pitt because there is a lot to do and see within a short walking distance. Having tube access and a station just 10 minutes from my apartment has made visiting different parts of London and sightseeing extremely easy and accessible.
In general, this experience has certainly made me a more adaptable and flexible person. Living in any country abroad, you face many new obstacles that were never a factor before and you must learn to just go with the flow and learn from what is happening around you. During my time here the biggest adjustments for me were all of the travel on the tube, which was daunting at first but I actually really enjoy now, as well as understanding the expectations in my classes and internship, because in England people are often a lot more vague with their directions and leave it up to your interpretation, but my professors and boss do a good job of recognizing this and trying to be as clear as possible.
Adapting to all of these changes hasn’t been simple, but it is a necessary process in order to enjoy your time abroad and indulge in the culture of the city you are surrounded by. I am learning something new every day, both in and out of class, and this new cultural intelligence and ability to observe and react with flexibility will be so beneficial and transferrable to any new endeavors I take on once back in the US.