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Leaving London

Nguyen, Dana; London, England - Leaving London

A light display in a South Kensington boutique window

It’s my final week here in London and I’ve been counting down the days for over a month now. As amazing as studying abroad has been, it’s been way too long since I’ve been home. To sum up my London experience, I want to take the time to reminisce on my favorite and least favorite parts of my trip.

The Bad:
1.   I wish I had a friend who signed up for the program with me. Although I made many new friends from my time at London College of Fashion, my experience living in my flat with fellow Drexel fashion majors wasn’t the best. Don’t get me wrong, all of the girls were extremely nice, but there was definitely exclusivity, since there were two groups of girls who came into this as best friends. Therefore, I felt like an outcast in my own home, and I wished that I had a close friend to share this experience with.
2.   The duration of the program was a bit hard for me to bear, and the first issue was a big part of that. It was hard saying goodbye to my new friends from other countries and universities, since they only had to take the first portion of the program, which was only two months. As Drexel students we were required to take an extra one-month intensive course called Trend Forecasting, which as D&M majors, many of us had already taken at Drexel.
3.   London was a pretty expensive place to live in, since the pound is nearly double the worth of a dollar. Eating out and shopping definitely left a big hole in my wallet, and it was especially bittersweet, since we got a taste of dirt-cheap prices when we were in Paris for only one week.

The Good:
1.   Paris was amazing. This was by far my favorite week this entire summer. For five days we didn’t have to worry about classes or studying, and instead we had jam-packed schedules of visiting museums, monuments and shopping destinations.
2.   Having South Kensington as our hometown for three months was pretty amazing, since it’s considered one of the richest places in London. The area was so quaint and safe, and our flat provided us with everything we needed, from toilet paper to cooking utensils.
3.   The Styling course at LCF was by far my favorite of them all, and now I have a very professional fashion editorial to add to my portfolio. In this class we learned how to analyze runway trends, shop for similar runway clothes, plan a fashion spread theme and style and photograph an entire eight-outfit spread as a group.

Overall, I’m nothing but grateful for this opportunity to study abroad. Growing up as a first generation student of immigrant parents, I got to experience something that my parents never had the time or money to do. This was actually my very first time Europe, and throughout the entire journey I reminded myself to absorb everything that my parents never got the chance to see, taste or feel. As they watch over me I hope that I’m making them proud with my smart decisions, as well as my desire to take risks and try as many new things as I possibly can.

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