My London: Essentials Not in the Guidebook

So you want to go to London…let me tell you something right now: this is the best decision you have ever made. London is my favorite city in the world, and trust me, you will fall in love in no time. The first link is to download the guide, but click the links below for things NOT in the guide. Please feel free to download and share this with any of your friends or family members thinking about going abroad!

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Borough Market Saturdays

I have lived in London since January and have yet to go to Borough Market until today!

Cardinal sin, but after my lengthy run through I think I can be forgiven.

I assumed the market would be packed, as is everything in London on a Saturday, but we went for brunch (around 10AM and left around 12PM) and it only began to get very busy on the tail end of our trip!

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The DL on UCL

Before I came to UCL I had no idea what to expect of the education system.

I knew it would be different, I knew it would take time to assimilate, but I did not know how drastic the change would be. So, following, is a (hopefully) helpful outline of what I went through in the beginning of my time as an English affiliate at UCL.

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Lust List: Reading Week AKA Online Shopping Week

I can’t seem to sate my online shopping addiction, even in the UK.

So, even though I’m not buying anything (yet) (just kidding mom I won’t), I thought I would share what is catching my eye!

It’s essentially all rain jackets (it was raining today) but because I don’t have one I think that it’s justified with the dreary weather we’ve been having in London. If it’s going to be chilly and damp, you may as well look great!

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Sketch London (Valenfives Day 1)

If you are, like my friend most eloquently put it (thank you Paige) “ballin’ on a budget,” then you have to take advantage of Sketch London’s coupon. Until March 1st, use the code from their Facebook page to get fifty, oh yes, FIFTY pounds off of a dinner or a lunch. The catch: Monday-Wednesday only, must be at least two people who both eat at least two courses, and you have to give the code at the time of reservation. After all the hoops, it really is an excellent deal.

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Buckingham Palace

A little over a week ago I went to Buckingham Palace with a few friends and was pleasantly surprised by the weather, a sunny day in London for a long walk to the Queen’s palace!

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We sat on the statue’s steps for awhile and soaked up some Vitamin D before returning to our respective places of residence. A pretty great afternoon for the beginning of our semester!

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Furthering Horizons

I have officially visited (GASP) zone two.

I know, I’m super lame. I need to get out. I’m in LONDON. But, I’ve also only been here for a little tiny bit of time, so, in my humbled opinion, I’m doing just fine while my biggest worries are not eating eggs for every meal I cook (so far I have made a delicious scramble of eggs, cherry tomatoes, and cheddar cheese…and that’s all).

However, I went to Hammersmith last night to visit my boyfriend (I know, lucky lucky to be abroad in the same place) and meet a few of his friends from Notre Dame (they have an international campus, so they’re not at a UK school.) They were all super sweet, and we went out to pub/bar hop to the best of our abilities with our limited knowledge of the area. Continue reading

My Flat!

Today was move in day for the IFSA-Butler UCL students living in the UCL housing! Very exciting and very tiring. After getting lost on the way to the main campus, then getting lunch with some girls down the road from the school, attending a short meeting about clubs, fixing my wifi, finding my way home, heading out to Primark with another IFSA student for bedding and etc., then coming home and unpacking, I was pleasantly surprised to see one of my flatmates was in!

So far, so friendly. He made me a cup of tea and we chatted for awhile in our shared kitchen. Mostly me questioning him profusely, but he took it well and was very helpful. I certainly hope the rest are as great as the first I’ve met! Continue reading