People tell you that it is very exciting to visit a new country- you get to travel around, meet people, etc. But I tell you, the initial emotions are more than that- sometimes it can be stressful, it can be overwhelming, intimidating, and a lot of other scary things. But I have been in London for 5 days and I can tell you right now, studying abroad is the best decision I have taken in my life and there is nothing I would have done differently.
Well, that’s not really the entire truth. I flew in a week later than the other students and maybe that’s the one thing I would have done differently. Although it wasn’t too hard to catch up with work and other stuff, as soon as I got off the plane, the only thing in my mind was how to get to class as soon as I could. I felt everything was moving too fast. But, when I got out of the airport and took a taxi, everything seemed so much better already. The first person I interacted with was the cab driver and starting with him, everyone I met was kind and soft spoken. To be honest. I embarrassed myself numerous times as I didn’t know how the systems work here but everyone was helpful and they showed me around.
I have now successfully completed my first week of classes and all I have realized is how much I am in love with this place. I am an international student and my goal is to explore and roam around as much as I can, while I can. After my coop, it felt a little overwhelming to take classes again, especially in London where I thought the teaching styles might differ from the US, but it is very similar and definitely not hard. One thing I realized is that all classes include a lot of field trips which is amazing because it lets me explore London as well as learn.
For the past few days I have been here, I make sure I take a evening stroll every day just to explore my neighborhood. I have made up a 12 hour rule for myself- I will stay inside my room only for 12 hours, that includes sleep, and the rest of time I will be outside exploring places.
It was absolutely iconic too see the black taxis, the double decker red buses, the telephone booths- few of the things which defines London for me. People often ask me if it is scary to move around so much considering I am 20 but the truth is, from being in London for only 5 days, I can guarantee that if I hadn’t come to London for study abroad, I would be missing out on a whole lot. It’s just not about the people in these places, it’s about experiencing the way they live, having no clue about traffic rules work here and crossing the road at all wrong times, looking into each coin to differentiate between 1 and 10 pounds. Well, I would choose this life over anything, any day.
Saying all of that, it is also very important for me to be time efficient. While I am here to explore London, I wouldn’t want to fall behind any of my classes. So I make sure all of my assignments are in my calendar, I am completing them, engaging in classes – maintaining a balance between everything.
Week 1 advice: Just talk to that stranger and just go that random place, you won’t regret it.
A Message from the Office of Global Engagement:
The safety and security of Drexel students is a priority for the University. As part of the efforts to support Drexel students that are studying abroad during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Office of Global Engagement has conducted a rigorous review of programming and provided additional support to participating students with customized pre-departure orientations and regular check-ins during the required self-isolation period and the term.