There are many things that I wish I knew before moving to London to study abroad for the summer. A lot of things that you think are self-explanatory may change when you’re actually at your destination. So in this blog, I’m going to explain a couple of things that surprise me and then I wish I knew before I left to be there for 10 weeks.
The first thing I wish I knew about studying abroad is that time will actually catch up to you. Though 10 weeks is a long time to be in a new place, by my 6th week I found myself scrambling around to do the things that I had planned to see before leaving. I really thought I had more time than I actually did and a bunch of my classmates felt the same way. What I wish I had done was to create a sort of itinerary to space out the activities I wanted to complete while also having time to do my schoolwork and class assignments. I would also say not to always wait around for anyone to join in on plans. People can be indecisive and you’ll end up wasting time with someone who won’t even end up doing that activity with you. It can be daunting to go out and do things by yourself but I’ve learned that it can be a ton of fun to adventure a new city on your own just as well as with your friends!
Of course, being in a new foreign country you’re not always going to want to put your studies and homework first. However, in my case, each of my courses was 5 weeks long, which is even faster than what Drexel students are used to comparing to their 10-week programs. There were many cases where I procrastinated and ended up having to stay in on a Friday or Saturday night to finish work, which is not ideal when your other friends go out to dinner. My advice for this struggle would to make homework and activity. Go out to the park and lay out a blanket or even go to a cute coffee shop and get yourself a coffee. When I went out to do my assignments in different environments, I looked forward to finding new spots to get my work done!
Currency Conversion Rate
I thought I was prepared for the affordability of my study abroad trip but the conversion rate of GBP to USD caught up to me very quickly. One pound is currently equivalent to 1.16 dollars which may not sound like a huge difference but it all adds up. In general, I would create budgets and set aside money for trips, clothes shopping, and souvenirs. One tip that helped me was to only try to eat out for dinner during the weekends which ended up saving me quite a bit of money. Sainsbury’s has very affordable groceries that were able to get me through each week without breaking the bank. If you decide to travel to other European countries while staying in London, look for those that use Euros. Euros are practically the same amount as a Dollar!
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.