Life in London: bucket-list, study-talk & catching up

First of all: my apologies for my absence the last couple of weeks. It was quite hectic since I planned a lot of activities with friends and besides that, I had to finish some assignments on deadlines.. but I’m back! You guys need to catch up with a lot, so I’ll make sure to write about all my adventures in the near future.

I’ve been living the London life for more than 2 months now and I’m still loving it. The city has got so much to offer that even after this period I still have a lot of places I want to visit. Some of my closer friends and family members know that I created a bucket-list of things I really wanted to see/do here, but I felt like sharing it with you as well. Here it comes:

Bucket-List London

  • Visit a musical/theatre: Wicked! √
  • Visit the London Eye/Shard
  • Afternoon tea: √
  • Meet the Queen: (One day… ;-))
  • Daytrip Oxford/Bath/Brighton: Bath √
  • Visit the Emirates Stadium: √
  • Shoot at sunrise
  • Feed a squirrel
  • Visit Skygarden
  • Visit Platform 3 3/4: √
  • Visit the Court: √
  • Eat a full English breakfast: √
  • Picnic in a park

As you probably noticed, I’m half-way through so I’ll try my best to accomplish the remaining points within these last weeks.

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Now, let’s talk about my exchange-programme. I’m following three modules at the moment, which all have a quite different outline, but that keeps it even more interesting. The English examination system of the subjects I’m studying is mainly based on writing essays, so that was definitely something I had to get used to. Luckily every assessment was explained very clearly and my professors provided sufficient feedback. It was quite a transition to adapt my writing style to Academic Legal English, but being surrounded by international people and living in an English-speaking country for more than 2 months now, made it all easier for me. Besides that, the seminars are different from what I’m used to in the way that they are more interactive: British students participate on a higher level in classes and professors assume from their students that they are very well-prepared, able to think beyond the prescribed reading material and ready to enter into discussions. Having noticed this, I became more motivated to adapt my study methods. The examination of two of the modules is mainly based on a final essay and for the third one I have an exam in May (for which I need to come back to London).

Since I like to stay active, I bought a gym membership at the sport centre of my university where you can find me lifting weights 2 or 3 days a week. Furthermore, I regularly go to salsa-nights which I really enjoy here in London. When it comes to food, I usually make my own lunch and dinner, but when I’m with friends I like to eat out. One of the best places to try out new food are food markets: cuisines from all around the world are represented and usually free tasters are offered. The Up-market on Sunday in Brick lane & the food market on Portobello Road in Notting Hill are my all-time favourites. Also, I became a fan of Indian food! The list of restaurants with the Indian cuisine is endless here. You can wake me up in the middle of the night for naan bread with paneer and a nice chicken curry 😉

I hope I gave you guys a better insight in my daily life. Blogposts about my activities and trips are coming soon!

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Life in London (update!)

Exactly one month ago I arrived in London and I must say: time’s flying so fast! Sometimes I still need to pinch myself for the fact that I’m actually living and studying here. It feels like a dream. I’m kind of surprised that the city already feels so familiar to me, even though it hasn’t been such a long time that I’m here. One of main reasons why I fell in love with the city right away is that it’s so cosmopolitan. At my university, in the streets, shops, restaurants,  basically everywhere you look: people from all around the world are present. London feels like a miniature world to me: getting in touch with so many different people, cultures, languages and cuisines is what I love the most.

Living on my own is going quite well so far. When the semester at my university started, I slowly began to create a routine. My lectures are from Tuesday till Thursday, which means that I can enjoy a long weekend every week. I’m trying to keep a good balance between studying and exploring the city. London has got so much to offer, which makes the list of places that I want to visit endless.

I already met a lot of wonderful people here and last week my sister came to visit me for a long weekend. It was amazing to show her around and let her experience London through my eyes. We had a lot of fun and as you can probably guess, a lot of pictures were taken that weekend… 😉

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London Bridge

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St. Paul’s cathedral

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

First week in London: my thoughts, challenges and experiences

So here I am, typing this blogpost at my desk in a city which I can call my home for the next three months. Last week was all about settling: getting used to a new environment, my own place and the people. I have lived at my parents’ house my whole life, so moving to London was a big transition for me. Besides that, this will be the first time to experience life in a big city. With 8.6 million inhabitants, London is the biggest city of Europe. I had to get used to the big crowds and the huge amount of buses and cars crossing the roads every day. People in the UK drive on the left side of the road, stand on the right side of the escalator and walk both the left and right of the street… You probably understand that it gets confusing for me sometimes.

Since my classes started this week, I had enough time create a daily routine and got to know the city better during the last couple of days. I did a lot of strolls in my neighbourhood and jumped regularly on those cute red buses to get a better idea of where everything is situated. I went to the introduction days which were organized by my university and attended a boat cruise on the Thames that included an afternoon tea (as a tea-lover, you can imagine I was totally in my happy place!).

Living on your own for the first time in a country where you don’t know anyone can be a challenge sometimes. It gives you a big responsibility, since you have to figure out everything yourself. On the other hand, you’re provided with a lot of freedom (which isn’t a bad thing at all ;-)). My classes are starting this week and I’m ready to get involved into the British uni life: Bring it on!

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All smiles in Notting Hill, London