Life in London: The First Week

Zoe Rodriguez-Willie
September 19, 2021

An ongoing pandemic, pending student visa, and a rescheduled flight later, I am finally in London!

By no means was my journey here stress free or simple, but I am beyond relieved and thankful to finally be in England after many sleepless nights, stress, and hopeful thoughts. I ended up arriving a few days after I was supposed to, as my passport and visa had not arrived back to me yet. I was able to rebook my flight as soon as my passport was in my hand, and only arrived a few days after my classmates. I was full of anxiety for sure, but as soon as I stepped foot on UK soil, my worries dissipated instantly, and for the first time in this process, I was calm, cool, and collected. 

So far, the first week in London has been nothing short of amazing. Here is a little recap of the first week of London:

1. The Tube

As someone who grew up in the suburbs, I’ve never truly experienced or had to depend on public transportation. Navigating how to get around London on the tube system has definitely been one of the most challenging adjustments thus far. It definitely is going to take me a while until I have complete confidence to know exactly how to get places, especially in circumstances where I need to transfer or change platforms, but so far, I am definitely hanging in there. 

2. The London Eye

The London Eye is probably one of the most notable marks of London. Although it is considered a touristy thing to do, I totally think visiting was a great opportunity to overlook all of London. The views were so beautiful, and I really felt a *Pinch me, I live here!* moment.  

3. Westminster

On my first full day here, we took a guided tour of Westminster. Although extremely tired and jetlagged, it was such a great opportunity to not only see the city, but learn about some London history, as well as visit some prominent landmarks, such as Big Ben, Parliament, London Bridge and even Buckingham Palace. 

4. Exploring

One of my favorite parts of my abroad journey so far has been being able to explore the area that I’m in. Nearly everything I could possibly need is a short walking distance away, which makes it convenient to grab groceries or a coffee. Being able to walk around, explore some local spots, and get a feel for the town has allowed me to feel more immersed in the city. I’ve even found some cafes that I know are going to be my favorite homework spots. 

5. Class

Moving to a new country and adapting to a new lifestyle has been beyond exciting. However, in between all of the tours, exploring, and fun, I of course had to remind myself of the first word in STUDY abroad. Returning to class has been such an interesting experience, mostly due to the fact that it has been my first in-person class I have attended since March 2020. The student I was as a sophomore in Spring 2020 is so different from the student I am going into my final semester of undergrad in Fall 2021. My classes all seem so interesting and intriguing, and believe it or not, I am even looking forward to the reading, work, and discussions that are to come along with my educational journey here. 

Life in London is liberating and lovely to say the least. Each day feels like a new scene of a movie, and I am excited to continue along the cinematic masterpiece that is my life here. Cheers!

Zoe Rodriguez-Willie

<p>Zoe Rodriguez-Willie is a senior at California Lutheran University, majoring in Communications with a minor in Sports Management. She is a Southern California native who is a connoisseur of European soccer and a major proponent of women’s sports. When she is not cheering on Barcelona or the USWNT, you may find her at Disneyland, the beach, or with her cat, Willow.</p>

Destination:
Term:
2021 Fall
Home university:
California Lutheran University
Hometown:
Temecula, CA
Major:
Communications
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