Having lived in Europe for thirteen years I was no foreigner to to the UK, but all my previous visits had been for leisure. I had always stayed in a hotel or a day trip, this however was going to be a two month stay in one of the largest cities in Europe. The largest city I have ever lived in was Dallas, but London was different from the moment I Landed. I took a taxi, not to a hotel or a popular tourist destination but to my accommodation at Sydney Webb house on the Southern Bank. I was about twenty minutes away from central London were all the hustle and bustle was going on. It was a bit daunting at first to get used to the fact that I was going to be staying in this room for two months on my own, the longest I ever have been away form family.
But the classes left no time for me to get homesick, from day one the program started with no intention of slowing down. The professor was engaging made the three hours go by in a flash, when I initially saw the timetable I thought “there’s no way I’m going to be able survive two months of this!”. While the lecture was engaging the class wasn’t a cakewalk, we had a paper due immediately for the second week, a presentation during the first two weeks then a final for the third and final week. Luckily the professor and the two TA’s were extremely helpful when it came to any questions relating to the course and the LSE facilities were amazing as well. This was the same for all sessions, the professors knew we only had three weeks to digest a semesters worth of material and they themselves tried to be available late into the night to help us succeed. It didn’t feel like a chore but a challenge.
London itself was amazing the summer I was there, no rain in sight and the atmosphere in the city was awesome due to the world cup going on at the same time. The city was full of people from all over rooting for their teams and you would not have a hard time to find fans from your favorite team.
Transportation in the city is what makes me miss it when looking at the DART system here in Dallas. It may be crowded and the tube can get delayed quite a bit, but the convenience is amazing and affordable as well. No matter where you needed to go either a bus or tube stop was there, and if that was not to ones liking then renting a bike or simply walking is also a possibility.
Of course I can’t talk about London without talking about visiting some tourist spots. I went to and recommend the Tower of London, for around 25 pounds you get to see three different museums, which include the iconic crown jewels and the crows of the Tower. Once you are done you can then walk over the London bridge and over to the eye of London. I also visited the Shard, the tallest building in London, from which you can admire the skyline of London.
The two months went by way to quick, but thanks to the time I spent there I was able to make friends from Korea, France, Switzerland, Brazil, Columbia, Austria and Australia. The amount of nationalities you meet in this program is incredible, even if you don’t learn much from the classes you will at least be meeting people form all over which easily was one of the more fun parts of the program.
I’d love to go back once more, but I hope others from UTD would make the trip over their and represent our school.
– Eric Wiggins, Summer School Abroad, Summer 2018