Going abroad to a major city such as London is always an exciting time. Your internet tabs are filled with “best things to do in London” and “British terminology to know,” and your brain is filled with all the possible adventures you are about to endeavor.
But you quickly learn that when you spend six weeks in London, no tacky travel website will give you all the tips that you need. You have to become a local, and the only way to do that is by throwing yourself into the deep end.
Immediately, I learned that dealing with British accents would be the least of my worries. The first encounter my group — the Media School Summer in London program — had was with our bus driver from the airport to our flat. I could not quite make out what his accent was, but clearly it was not British.
Now, of course British accents exist. It’s not a myth from movies. The accents are just as awesome as one would hope, but that’s not what a city like London is.
London is incredibly diverse. People from all over the world have moved to the city and now call it home. America is often called the melting pot, but I have never seen such a diverse city as London.
While our group was thrown into a new scene and a new lifestyle, we needed to adjust pretty quickly to living in London. During our time here, each member of the group has been assigned a 20-hour-per-week internship while also taking a British media course.
My internship is with Flair Football, a startup app that looks to make every young soccer player feel like a star. I have assisted with content creation that will help the company’s future marketing campaigns.
The commute to work for me is a fun one, and it was another piece of London that took adjusting to. Using the underground train system — the Tube — requires lots of repetition and map-reading skills. First, you need to find your nearest station. Then, you need to figure out which line to take. Then, you figure out which direction to go. Finally, you figure out where to get off.
Not to mention that sometimes you need to take one line to hop onto another line in order to get to your ultimate destination.
Eventually, I’ve gotten used to my commute to work. As someone who is not a huge fan of Harry Potter, I have been able to make a humble brag to my friends that are, as I get off at King’s Cross station and pass Platform 9 ¾ each day.
London is a massive city, but it is a fun one. It can be difficult to adjust and find your way around, but if you give yourself enough time, you’ll be able to see most of it.
It’s really big. I’m two weeks in and have seen so much, yet there’s so much left on my to-do list.