Ten hours later and the wait was finally over. Even though I was fulfilling one of my life’s goals by studying in London, I had no idea what I was getting myself into. There’s no book, YouTube video, or friend’s experience that can prepare. All I had to do was figure my way through the maze of Heathrow airport to receive my short-term student stamp and it would be smooth sailing from there.
With my documents in hand, the border security officer kindly welcomed me into his country. From then on, I was dropped off in the incorrect location, so my suitcase and I walked all of King Cross in a matter of hours. Thankfully my IES Abroad advisor saved the day and helped me locate my new home. The funny thing is I passed by the hotel numerous times, but I couldn't fathom that this was the place I was staying at. IES Abroad does not shy away from exceptional accommodations (gym included). After a good night’s rest and complimentary breakfast from IES Abroad, a quick orientation followed with an introduction to the IES Abroad Center staff. In a matter of hours, the team had made the transition from life in the states to life in London fairly easy.
The following day I would move into my permanent at the University’s living accommodations, so I decided to take this free day to fulfil all of my tourist dreams. Luckily, I arrived early enough to view the Crown of Jewels before the crowds would have made entering the castle nearly impossible. Pictures were not allowed in the vault, but Tiffany & Co. and Cartier are not close to being comparable. After exploring the towers, my journey continued across Tower Bridge. I refuelled myself with vegan fish and chips then set on to visit the St. Paul's Cathedral. The dome of the cathedral could be seen from miles away, but words cannot describe the beauty when standing in front of it.
I decided to stray from the map and simply wander the streets. I ended up following a red paved road to the Queen Victoria Memorial where it's shadowed cast upon an enormous building. When admiring the gold-plated gates and pristine architecture I realized this was the Buckingham Palace. After waiting for the Queen's corgis to come running out and respecting the admiration for the royal family, I decided to end the day with new friends soaking in the sun on a pub's balcony in London, England.
Until next time,
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<p>If you cannot find me in the kitchen experimenting with vegan recipes, I am outside exploring the outdoors. I love the thrill of going on adventures and being able to take a break from my studies as a pre-med student.</p>