Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Christine M. - London, England - SU 2012

Greetings Elmhurst Students!

I have been in London for almost three weeks now and I am falling deeply in love with this city! I honestly never thought I could love another city more than Chicago until now. The weather here was extremely deceiving at first.  It was 80 degrees and sunny for an entire week! The average temperature here for the summer is about 70 degrees, but it never seems to get that high. It tends to stay in the low 60s so pack an umbrella, some wellies (rain boots) and some sweaters! You will definitely need it because it rains every single day. Also, even though it’s cold in the summer, it does not mean they sell fall/spring clothes. I still have yet to find a warm sweater.

My biggest fear here was learning the public transportation of the tube, but I learned it within in days! My first experience with it was scary though. IES did not pick me up from the airport so I had to find my way to my building on my own and asking for directions was out of the question because no one knows where Frying Pan Alley is apparently. I have gotten lost sometimes also, but I have embraced it because I have discovered some new things. One of the first few days my friends and I went to the theatre district and accidently found Parliament, the Olympic Countdown Clock and the London Eye! I do recommend avoiding using the Central line when using the tube at all costs! It is very crowded and hot because it is the closest line of the tube to the surface.  Also it is rude to stare at people on the tube and almost no one speaks while riding it.

If you do not like sandwiches, this is not the place for you. Everywhere there are sandwich shops. They are pretty cheap (for London) and have many different types except for Turkey! Drinks, food and clothing are pretty expensive here.  It is much cheaper to buy food from the store and eat in. The exchange rate from GBP to Dollar is almost double and not going down any time soon.  Everything also closes extremely early. Pubs close around midnight and some stores close around five or six. Also, just because this is an English speaking country, does not mean all the words are the same.  If you say you want to take your meal “to go” you get looked at weird because the proper way is to say “take away.”

The program I am on is an internship program. I have a leadership class every Friday which ties into my internship. I work in the marketing and press department at the Royal Academy of the Arts.  The first day I started working kicked off the 244th gallery opening of the summer exhibition. I got to go to a parade and service in a church for the artists as well as a cocktail party in the middle of my work day. A few days later, I attended a private red carpet party where I saw many British celebrities. Interns here are given more responsibility and trust than in interns in the U.S. My co-workers are very nice. I was warned that British people are not always friendly at first, but my coworkers wanted to get to know me right away! They always have a good insight on where to go and life in London.

If you want to ask me any questions I would be more than happy to answer them for you! Ask Alice for my e-mail address!



Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was surprised to read a few of your comments, but am glad to hear how friendly your coworkers have been! I knew London wasn't cheap but being able to go to an exclusive red carpet event...wow! So who exactly is your internship with and what sort of job title/responsibilities are you carrying?
Good luck with the lingo!

11:21 PM  

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