I am very sorry for the lack of blog posts and updates this months – things have been quite hectic and I was busy moving out of Berlin and carrying all my personal belongings, piles of books and electronic equipment over to London. Ah, London. I cannot even put into words how happy I am about the fact that I get to call this wonderful city my home for the next three years – yes, three years! The first time I will be staying in a place for this long since I am 14. Besides its fascinating history, the stunning architecture and always autumny feel, I love London’s art and culture scene. There are endless amounts of concerts to go to, exhibitions to attend and delicious treats to try.
I spent my first weeks here attempting to get through all major museums and galleries (an attempt that failed slightly and that will be taken up again!) Besides attending the palaces and of art and creativity, my favourite thing to do so far is to explore all the little book shops and parks scattered between the historic buildings to escape the crowds and view the city’s secret hubs up close. Without a doubt the Portobello Road Street Market is a place I will go back to more often: an entire road full of an eclectic mix of street food, fruit and vegetables, antiques, curios, collectibles, vibrant fashion and trinkets.
The fact that roughly one third of all Londoners is foreign born, representing 270 different nationalities, can be felt, seen and heard everywhere. This beautiful mix of cultures literally seasons the culinary aromas on London’s streets, the often exotic clothing people wear and the music they listen to. It’s hard to focus on studying with all this variety! That being said, during these three years I will be attending the London School of Economics to get a B.A. in Human Geography (with a focus on international security, disaster management and crisis assessment). So far, I am absolutely in love with my university experience – classes are challenging, yet absolutely fascinating, reading lists are endless but mind-blowingly interesting and lectures are long, but very enjoyable. This year, the LSE’s Geography and Environment Department was ranked second in the world by the QS World University Rankings by Subject 2015. At the beginning of their first year, each undergraduate student is assigned an Academic Advisor, who takes up the function of a tutor and mentor, an academic regularly checking in on our progress and performance as well as being a helping hand for difficult issues. My Academic Advisor has also become sort-of a friend to me, particularly due the fact that most of her work focuses on East Africa, with a special interest in Tanzania – what a coincidence!
Life in London is expensive, hence many first years decide to opt for university housing. I did as well and am currently staying in one of the university’s residential halls in the heart of Bloomsbury, sharing my room with one of the most lovely people in the world (Katie from Chester) We bonded over the topics of human rights, our love for other cultures, tasting baklava and eating our way through the Camden Food Market 🙂
There are quiet a lot of UWC students in London, always causing happy outcries and sudden outbursts of hugs and love – “Oh, my goodness! You went to Adriatic College? I went to Li Po Chun! No way, I was at Mahindra!” “And I went to Cost Rica!” That being said, I am actually meeting one of my co-years for dinner this week to catch up on each other’s lives. So besides a detailed blogpost about student life at LSE, expect photos and anecdotes from out little reunion!