Study abroad student Liz Torrey on exciting London adventures

Liz Torrey, Crier Staff

I’ve been in London since January, and even though I miss my dog, two cats, and bunny like crazy, this has been, quite possibly, the best time of my life.

I’ve seen the Crown Jewels, Big Ben, the Prime Meridian in Greenwich, Tower of London, Camden markets, London Eye, various pubs and eateries, and Saint Paul’s Cathedral, to name a few.  I took my first trip to another European city, Edinburgh, back in January.  It’s the most beautiful place I’ve ever seen. I have also visited Paris, France during my time here.

Most people are hesitant to study abroad because they feel that it’s too expensive or a lot of work. To those people I would say that it’s only as expensive as you make it, because tuition and room and board come out to be about the same. As far as the prep work, yes there is a lot, but it’s so worth it to see these places and have these experiences.

I initially wanted to study abroad for the purpose of securing an internship.  Not only am I an intern now, but it’s with Simon & Schuster, one of the biggest publishing companies in the world, and a place at which I only could have dreamed of working.

I have classes two days a week and work the other three days. On the weekends my new friends and I explore London and the United Kingdom.  This is not an uncommon occurrence; the program I chose to study through, Arcadia, works closely with Saint A’s and offers similar schedules to all potential interns, guaranteeing a placement in one of your top three preferred fields of work.

In between work and class, I’m planning further trips to Dublin and Rome; all much cheaper trips than they would be if I was coming from America.

This is a chance to see the world at a relatively cheap cost and learn how to truly experience the freedom of living on my own. For those of you who can’t wait to graduate and move out, I suggest you go study abroad first and pay for all your own food and then see if you still feel that way.

Having said that, food is a whole different experience here! Paper towels are called kitchen rolls, sour cream comes in a tube, the red bagged Doritos are spicy, and you have to unchain shopping carts by inserting a pound into a machine on the handle (don’t worry, the pound will pop back out when you re-chain the cart).

If you want a simple coffee, you go to Costa, which seems to be the equivalent of Dunkin’ Donuts here. You can choose between several mysterious options: flat white, macchiato, Americano, white… they’re all different! As much as I miss Dunks, I have to say that the coffee here is of much higher quality.

When I think of big cities in America like New York and compare it with London, there’s no doubt in my mind that London is much more exciting and affords a variety of options to students that you won’t find anywhere else.  If you want to go abroad, London is a no-brainer; it’s full of culture, excitement, fun, and opportunities.