Abroad in London: What I Love, What I Miss

Greetings from across the pond! I have been studying abroad in London since late September and, as my program comes to a close, I'd like to reflect on my experience abroad and share what I love about London and what I miss about Davis. Living in London has been an incredible experience that I know words won't be able to do justice, but I also miss Davis immensely and am looking forward to coming home. Here are a few of my favorite aspects of studying abroad in London, as well as a few things from Davis that the UK can’t replace:

London

The History

London is packed with history, from the ancient Roman invasion of London, to medieval kings and queens ruling the land, to the air raids of World War II destroying some of the city. The beautiful thing about London is that majority of the museums are free. So far, I have been to the British Museum, Imperial War Museum, Museum of London, and the Natural History Museum. I have learned so much about the history of London, the UK, and Europe as a whole.

The School

I am studying at the London School of Economics and Political Science, one of the most prestigious schools in the UK (John F. Kennedy is an alumnus!). My LSE professors are incredibly smart and experienced in the realm of politics — seriously, they have their own Wikipedia pages. Lectures are dense, but extremely compelling.

The Accessibility

London is an accessible city — not just within it, but from outside of it too. With three major airports and a plethora of train stations, I have traveled around the UK, as well as taken trips to Dublin and Copenhagen. All of the cities I have been to have been wonderful, but I think my favorite trip was to the Seven Sisters cliffs in the south of England (pictured above). The cliffs were extremely breathtaking, as I have found most of the UK is.

The Landmarks

London is home to some of the most recognizable landmarks — you could easily point out London's skyline (not many other cities have a Ferris wheel in the middle of them). Seeing the Palace of Westminster on my walk to class or the dome of St. Paul's Cathedral from my classroom adds to the beauty of London. The city is also scattered with parks: Hyde Park, Regent's Park, Primrose Hill, and more make the huge city comfortable (and there are lots of dogs!!). London is a stunning city, and, while the landmarks are iconic, beauty can be found on every street.

Davis

The Campus

Something I miss deeply about dear Davis is the campus. As great as LSE is, it is scattered, with no central part of campus. I miss walks through the quad, where you are bound to run into at least five people you know. I miss the comfort of the Silo, and the designated streets of campus which are only for bikes.

The Food

London has great food, but it's expensive! I've enjoyed trying new foods and everything but, c'mon, a girl needs her Noah's Bagels. I miss Trader Joe's. I miss Shah's food truck. I miss Raja's. I miss Panera. I miss Guads (although us California kids have successfully pinned down a good burrito place in London). The first thing I will do when I get back to Davis is stuff my face.

The People

Obviously, I miss my Davis friends. Because of the time difference, FaceTime can be hard, and I haven't been as in touch with my friends as I would like to be. I miss midnight runs to Safeway with my roommates to get pints of Ben & Jerry's, and bingeing my favorite TV shows and movies with my friends. A place is only as good as the people in it, and the people in Davis are great.

London has been a life-changing experience that I’m not sure I’m ready to say goodbye to. I have made friends for life, learned so much about European politics, and have loved living in one of the most historically rich cities in the world. I can tell I picked a good college, though, because I am also extremely excited to be back in Davis!

P.S. I miss my dog so much, I mean… look at this face :D

All photos taken by the author.