Student Blogs & Vlogs | College Study Abroad Programs, IFSA-Butler

Is My American Showing?

As my week is wrapping up here & I write to you from a coffee shop in Soho, I can’t help but realize what an amazing week it really was (& wow did it go by FAST). I started classes this week (woo-hoo!) & did lots of exploring. I have found my classes to be really interesting but also really different than typical American courses. I am taking four classes that are three hours each… for Americans that is a looooooong lecture. Very long. I luckily am really intrigued by the topics I am taking & have super nice professors (now if I only I could understand their accents). 

I was also lucky enough to do a lot of exploring in London this week. I went to my first “real” European club & a “proper” pub this week, both very fun experiences. I know the point of studying abroad in Europe is to be able to travel (which I will do in time), but right now I am really enjoying getting to know London in and out. I have always wanted to live here & LOVE it. I am slowly but surely really feeling like a local here even though my American is totally still showing (I need to stop talking on the tube…). I will admit though, I am still getting used to being “international” here. Sometimes I find myself thinking, “I’m not international, YOU’RE international.” I was at a coffee shop the other day & the barista asked me where I was from (my American accent was something she apparently liked) & I told her I was from Chicago. Because she had a hard time understanding my accent, she thought I said “China”… I had to repeat myself several times before she understood Chicago- this was the first time I have really had a language barrier with someone. Before coming here I thought that British people highly disliked Americans, but I have met some of the nicest British people who really enjoy getting to know more about myself and where I’m from. These are the experiences that make my time here that much more enjoyable. London really is a melting pot of a million different cultures and I am beyond happy to be a part of it.

This week I also managed to LOSE my credit card. No, I did not get pick pocketed- I, myself, lost my credit card. Luckily, no charges were made on it and I was able to easily cancel it and get a new one. Unfortunately, I am still an idiot so that is something I will need to work on.

The best part (at least for me) so far has been having this experience with people I didn’t know before I came (my roommates, housemates, people I have met here). Half of the fun is in exploring and having new experiences in a totally foreign place with people you haven’t met before- there is no safety net of having someone you know really well & I think that is a really great thing in this situation. The thing bringing you together with all of these people is that you all wanted to study abroad/live in London (or wherever) and that is enough to bond over in and of itself. Some of the best times of my life have been with Americans/locals that I met while over here. Go out and meet new people. It is worth the five minutes of awkwardness in the beginning- I promise.

But in all honesty, the weather has been great & so have the locals. Life is really good here & I still cannot believe I really do live here. London is a great city to be young, grow, learn, and have fun in. Until next time… xx.

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