London, England: Getting Settled In

europe, personal, places, study abroad, travel, uk

Hello, hello!
I am writing this post from my flat in London! This is what dreams are made of, people.

I’ll be here in London until April 16th with the University of Arcadia! I am in the London Internship Program, which means I will be taking Arcadia classes as well as working an internship I have been paired up with! I will be interning with the Centre for Social Justice and I could not be more excited! We have only been going through orientation this past week, so everything will really begin this upcoming Monday. I cannot believe this whole semester is actually happening – it has already been so great to me.

Aside from some ubiquitous orientation seminars, I have been up to a lot this past week. My family and I decided to fly over a few days before the program started and have a quick New Year’s vacation. We stayed at the beautiful St. Pancras Renaissance Hotel next to Kings Cross station for three days before I moved into Arcadia’s student housing. St. Pancras Renaissance has a very lavish afternoon tea that included a full tea list, the most delicious savory sandwiches, and plates upon plates of sweets. Guys, highly recommend. A must-do.

On New Year’s Eve, we went on a fun boat cruise along the River Thames to see the fireworks. It was very crowded, but once everyone on the boat was settled in, things were less cramped. We were served fun London street food and braved the cold by climbing up to the deck to watch a quite fantastic fireworks display over Elizabeth Tower. The whole experience was enjoyable, and I loved being able to experience London with my family for a few days before they journeyed back to Texas.

On the first day of the year, we went to The Making of Harry Potter – a Warner Brothers lot tour of the set of the Harry Potter movies! It was actual magic. we started the tour inside the actual Hogwarts Great Hall, peeked inside the Gryffindor boys’ dormitory (!!) and walked through 4 Privet Drive, among so many other things. Also, Butterbeer. It tasted better here than in Universal Studios, but we decided maybe that was because we weren’t in a crazy theme park setting in the middle of a Florida summer while tasting it. I was in awe of the intricacies of all the sets and animatronics and background work. I picked up the first three books at the studio for some reading while I’m living here and it is already making my whole experience much more magical.

When the program started, I met all of the other interns that are in this program with me! It has been so nice to meet other people who are so psyched to be here. I have already gone on so many adventures in the five days since I moved in. I’ve almost perfected my 45-minute tube commute to class, I’m getting this whole ‘pounds instead of dollars’ thing down, and think I am getting settled in pretty well. Here are some shots from the first few days of my trip.

The first night in London we told our waitress about my internship, and she brought out celebratory cake!
A shot off Baker Street while waiting for our HP tour guide.
Audrey Hepburn graffiti in Highgate – where my flat is!

Be expecting some fun posts about my life here – I am excited to update you while I’m on my journey!

xoxo,
Jewel

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