I love everything about England, so studying abroad here is a dream come true. I’ve imagined what living in England would be like and it’s everything I’ve pictured and more; from the people, the cloudy weather, the history and even the accents.
I arrived with my dad a week before the expected date to explore London and adjust to being in an environment completely different from my own. Within that one week we saw everything there is to see in London. Having been to London before, I sort of knew my way around, but going with my dad, who has never been, made the experience that much more memorable and fun. If you ever go to London, here are a six tips I’ve made to help with your trip:
- Find sightseeing tour deals to save money and conveniently explore (I used the London Pass).
- Use an app to help you navigate through the city’s streets & public transportation (I used CityMapper).
- Get an Oyster card for only zone 1 and 2, and use the bus for the other zones.
- Be aware of pick-pockets on the tube.
- Don’t buy the very first souvenir item you see, chances are that other stores have the same item for a cheaper price.
- Bring more than one adapter.
With the London Pass we were able to visit the Tower of London, Kensington Palace, Hampton Court Palace, the London Bridge, the Tower Bridge and Westminster Abbey, and go on a river boat tour along the Thames all for a cheaper price. During that week my dad and I also saw Buckingham Palace, the London Eye, Trafalgar Square and Piccadilly Circus, and got to eat at quite a few English pubs to taste some of their local food. Even though I’ve been to London before, getting to show my dad everything and seeing how happy and excited he was just to be there really made the trip fun. Since it was just the two of us, we really bonded and created special memories that I know we’ll both look back on and appreciate.
After my week in London was over, it was time for me to move in to the University of Hertfordshire. Moving in was relatively easy since I only had two suitcases with me, but it was a bit lonely at first since I was on my own. I immediately felt homesick and cried a little once I unpacked and realized I was miles away in a foreign country with no family close to me.
Being so family-oriented made it difficult to feel relaxed and happy the first few nights, so I had to make an effort to go to the events the school hosted and meet other international students. But once I had settled in and found a group of great friends the homesickness began to fade.
Everyone I’ve met so far has been welcoming and kind; it’s starting to feel like I’ve just gone on a vacation with friends! I’ve only been at Hertfordshire for a week and I’m already really comfortable with how everything has been going thanks to the new friends I’ve made. I can’t wait to see what other adventures I’ll be doing within this semester.
I’m so excited to be starting off this school year with so much hopefulness and positivity! Cheers!
Daryn Codi Seeckts is studying public health, psychology and English under the interdisciplinary studies major. She is spending Fall semester at the University of Hertfordshire, England.