First 7 days in London

WELCOME TO LONDON

Written by Veritas London student, Nina, from Oklahoma Baptist University! Read more of her blogs at heartofanintrovert.wordpress.com. Photos by Nina & ISA students.

Oops…

airport

So, due to a human mistake, I booked my flight for a day early. I arrived, made it through customs, collected my checked bag, and… found a bench to sit down on. Standing in the customs line carrying a small suitcase, overstuffed backpack, Monkey, and wearing one fleece and one coat makes a girl get really hot and sweaty! Plus, it was 8:30 am {2:30 am}, and I was all alone in a foreign country.

After my short breather, I walked around and found a bus that took me to my hotel my dad had booked me. I was able to check-in early (Thank you, Jesus!), took a warm bath, and promptly fell asleep for a solid 3-hour nap.

I was abruptly awakened by the fire alarm in the hotel going off! No worries, just a faulty alarm, but it was quite disorienting.  After the fire alarm stopped and I returned to my room, got some food, set up camp in my hotel room, and binged on Once Upon A Time season 5 on Netflix and Skyping my parents.

South West I Go!

To South West London, that is! After a little pricey breakfast at the hotel, I took another bus back to the airport where I met up with the ISA/Veritas group to venture forth to the University of Roehampton!

Everybody’s flights got in at various times, so we didn’t actually leave the airport until around 1 o’clock in the afternoon. A nice bus ride out of Central took us to campus where we got checked in and moved into our flats.

Our ISA contact, Kristen, then took our little group into a town a short bus ride away called “Putney” where there were many more shopping places and larger grocery stores. We got British SIM cards and cell phones, some extra pillows, and some groceries to get us started. When we got back, I think we all got unpacked a little and crashed from our whirlwind day (they had almost all been up for nearly 48 hours at this point!).

Welcome to Uni.

Day 1: Orientation at Roehampton. Rather boring.

Day 2: Registration. I officially became a student at the University of Roehampton. Due to a scheduling conflict with two of my modules I had to select an alternative, except they don’t allow us to see what times and days other modules are offered, so I went in with blind alternatives. Which were both full. So after stressful searching, I ended up in a second Shakespeare class. Needless to say, my mom is very jealous of my Shakespeare classes!

The ISA/Veritas group then took a bus to the nearby ASDA, also known as British Walmart. We took loads of bags since it costs 5 pence per bag you buy here {they are all about conservation of the environment} and stocked up on more food, some things to make our rooms feel homier, and basic school supplies that none of us packed!

Day 3 & 4: Adventure days. Roehampton has something called “Photo Frenzy” where you’re given clues and you have to solve them and go around Central London finding these popular places and take pictures of them. Again, the ISA group and I stuck together and took several tubes {subways} around and walked finding some of the places: Trafalgar Square, the Sherlock Holmes Museum, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory… and this is where we stopped at The Globe Pub for our first FISH & CHIPS!

fish n chips

Day 5:  ISA orientation and a double-decker bus tour! This was more chill and less overwhelming, which was nice. After returning to campus, Dani, an ISA student, and I wandered around and did our own campus tour to get more familiar with campus and most importantly find our class buildings! All the buildings here have two names, so just because it’s more commonly called one name does not mean that is the name provided on the campus map!

No Syllabus Day?

Nope. Of course, I did not have strenuous first days, but academic life is very different here. You will spend a couple hours in class one day a week and the rest of the work is on your own with your hours of free time! As a very scheduled person, all the free time is a huge adjustment for me; it will take some getting used to.

Two of my classes are specifically for study abroad students, and I will just be reading plays and going to see shows! In fact, on Thursday, one class is going to In the Heights at the King’s Cross Theatre, and on Saturday, the other class is seeing MacBeth at the Young Vic Theatre.

Cheers!

ISA/Veritas, my study abroad program, offers many included trips and excursions, so this weekend and next week I’ll be going to the Tower of London and British Museum. The University also offers excursions and I booked two of them: Oxford and the Cotswolds and the Ultimate Harry Potter Experience, both for February. My grandparents are coming for several days during my THREE WEEK Easter/spring break! In addition, one of my former high school teacher’s messaged me about coming over to visit during spring break as well (she and her husband currently live in Germany).

I’m in conversation to meet up with my Mission Mentors tomorrow and am very excited to get connected with a church community.

I won’t tell you this transition has been easy; it’s a big adjustment and learning process. Each day will have its ups and downs, but I know that even though I can’t call this rainy city home yet, my time here will fly by far too quickly. Here’s to a semester to #ABROADenYourHorizons.

Have questions? Check out our program online and request more info

 

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