I have been in London for almost 2 months and I finally feel like I am at home and settled. Now that I can thoroughly explain the entire tube map of zone 1/2 and have started giving directions to tourists, can I call myself a Londoner?
This week, I have decided to talk about the daily routine of a Londoner and the specifics of British culture which I hope to continue when I go back home.
- At U of T I was blessed with living on Vic Campus, eating breakfast at Burwash dining hall, and having a 200m walk across the street to the Music Faculty. In London living in zone 1 with my 40 minute commute to class is considered lucky. I have learned to leave earlier and to give myself more time in the morning. From experience, I am much happier and less tired when I take a good hour to get ready in the morning rather that rush out the door.
- As I have talked exploring about in my previous post about “The Freshers Week Experience” (See: http://blogs.studentlife.utoronto.ca/lifeatuoft/2016/10/03/the-freshers-week-experience/) I have tried to explore as much as I can in London by strolling around new neighbourhoods in my free time. Londoners love their museums and pop-in on a weekly basis to take a peek at new exhibitions. When I get back to Toronto, I am looking forward to spending more time at the ROM, especially on Tuesdays where student’s have free admission.
- I have also done a fair amount of exploring the UK and have taken trips to Oxford, Leeds Castle, Canterbury, and Dover to experience British culture across England. Exploring England has inspired me to travel more in Ontario when I get back. There are so many interesting places to travel in Ontario that are only a drive or bus ride away and after being away, I value all of our beautiful destinations like Bruce Peninsula and Manitoulin Island.
3. Drinking Tea
- I am proud to say that I am an avid tea drinker. Here are my tea drinking recommendations according to the time of day:
- English Breakfast Tea to wake up
- A peppermint tea or herbal tea at lunch
- More Earl Grey Tea (or any Black Tea that you fancy)
- Green Tea for Dinner
- Camomile Tea for the Evening
4. Unwinding with Friends
- One thing I have really learned to do on exchange is make time to unwind with friends and enjoy my time in the UK. British students always make time to relax and enjoy their day, even if they are in the middle of midterms or stressed beyond control. In London, everyone has a go-to pub or café that they join their friends at after class. There is even a student café/pub on campus which has amazing food and drink/deals and is the centre of student life… Did I mention it looks over the Themes river and has an amazing view of London!
I only have a few more weeks left of my exchange and even though I miss U of T, I know it will be incredibly sad to go home. This has been the best two months of my life: I have grown, learned, explored, and made close friends from the around the world. Studying abroad has definitely been the most valuable experience for learning about myself and making life long connections.
I miss you U of T,
Tara xx (xx is how British sign off in social media)