Although I’m publishing this in London, I wrote these thoughts down before I started the USF in London program:
This will be my first experience taking USF classes in another country. Although there will be USF teachers there, the University College of London campus will be much different from our stomping ground back in Florida. The level of independence is so much greater and the students who live and study there probably have a different outlook on life. So I’m excited to do some real adulting 3,000 miles away from my family in tampa while learning in and out of the classroom.
During my time in Bristol at their Fulbright Summer Institute, I gained a much better understanding of the education system in the U.K. Talking and going to pubs or fish and chips restaurants with Bristol students was so much fun and provided me with a ton of insight on their culture and how they perceive their studies. I think their system gives them a more holistic knowledge base, and allows them to fare better in whatever career they eventually choose. I hope to also make some friends in London and learn about the city, it’s history, and culture from them.
On another note, I know English food is far different from Jamaican and soul food, which is what I’m used to. So I plan to look up restaurants or markets that sell good quality food from which I can make or buy cooked meals. I found an authentic Jamaican restaurant in Bristol that I visited at least three times a week, so I hope to find something similar in London! I definitely need roti, oxtails, fried chicken, rice and peas, etc. for the month in London.
I’m also mentally preparing myself to cook with the people on my floor because I am far from being a legitimate chef. I hope there are other frugal individuals in my dorm that want to make Pinterest-inspired dinners and snacks! I hear that London is expensive so I’m also ready for the sticker shock.
Last, but certainly not least, I’m preparing myself to have conversations with Londoners about daily life, politics, sports, and customs. This requires some reading and maybe even documentaries for fun. A few newspapers that I know will keep me in the loop are The Guardian, The Independent, and The Daily Telegraph. I’m excited to draw some parallels between these outlets and the major ones in the states because all of them lean left or right on the political spectrum.
Im so grateful to the Global Citizens Project for providing me with this Travelers Award. In addition to studying a new city, I’m ready to try new teas, keep in touch with family and friends, practice for the Great British bake off, and have fun!