1) There is Always Something Going On
There is absolutely no excuse to be bored while studying abroad in London
! Between museums, pubs, theatres, parks, historical landmarks, and restaurants, there is never a dull moment. The best part about most of these attractions is that a lot of them are free (all museums are free in London, unless it is a special exhibit) and most can be enjoyed by yourself.
| At Martin Creed's "What's the Point of it?" Exhibit|
| London's nightlife is the perfect place to get groovy (I'm sorry, that was so lame...)|
2) Easy (and Cheap) Flights
Because of how much traffic goes in and out of the city, you will always be able to find a well-priced plane ticket to any part of Europe. You can also choose between multiple airports, all of which are accessible by the tube or a shuttle. My personal favorite airports for efficiency and price are Lutton and Stansted. Make sure to book National Express for your shuttle as they are highly reliable and well-priced (also, free wifi).
3) Harry Potter
Ten Words: Warner Bros. Studio Tour London: The Making of Harry Potter. You will die, go to heaven, watch yourself go through the attraction outside of your body, and then return just in time to drink some butterbeer. You’re welcome.
| Butterbeer on Privet Dr.|
4) Royal Parks
With almost 4,900 acres, London is covered in beautiful parks boasting colorful gardens, serene lakes, and lush fields for you to join a pick-up game of football. I recommend renting a paddle boat in Hyde Park and spending the afternoon reading and floating on the Serpentine!
| Seen in Regent's Park, conveniently located across the street from where I live here|
| Say hi to Will, Kate, and Harry at Kensington Palace in Hyde Park|
| A secret garden we stumbled upon|
5) The Accents
6) The Language
In case you were wondering, they speak English in England, meaning that us mono-lingual Americans (hey! I speak a bit of Spanish!) can feel right at home (but with way better slang).
7) City Size
London is the biggest city in Europe (if you don't consider Istanbul in Europe), with just over 8 million people. While that might seem daunting, that also means that there are always things to see and people to meet. Take advantage of that and really explore every part of this fabulous city.
| My personal favorite spot is Marylebone High Street|
| ...and Daunt Books|
8) The Tube
I’m slightly biased, but after taking public transportation in a plethora of other European cities, London’s blows the competition away. The world is truly your oyster (it’s a British thing…) in London (despite the outrageous prices, but that’s a topic for another time) with an updated underground system, tons of classic red, double-decker buses, and over-ground trains to ensure that you get to wherever your heart desires.
| Make sure to actually mind the gap.|
9) The History
I realize that Europe is chock full of history, but England’s is so much more well-known in America than most countries’ histories. Also, I’d take a bet and say most students have read at least one book by a classic English writer—you can’t say that about every country.
| Reading a little Orwell in the park|
10) It’s the Greatest City on Earth
This is a fact. Living in London makes you both hate it and love it so passionately that you can’t imagine living anywhere else. But this feeling can’t be explained—you must experience it yourself!
| Fellow CEA student, Jen (studying in Seville, Spain) and I explore the Tower of London and Tower Bridge|
What are you waiting for? London is calling (to you in the faraway town) and it’s up to you to answer.
| My life is a cliche |
Karly Sandsmark is the Spring 2014 CEA MOJO in London, UK. She is currently a junior at Colorado State University.
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