Moving to London for a Semester Abroad

It’s been a while since I’ve written on this blog—so long, in fact, that the last time was two years ago when I was a tiny first year student and now I’m a junior! Being a junior has meant many things, but most importantly for me, it meant the opportunity to study abroad. Having spent sophomore year online and living through the uncertainty of whether borders were going to reopen for students from the US, I spent a lot of time worried and stressed out about whether the I would be able to study abroad during junior year.

WashU has a myriad of study abroad opportunities for students through its connections with host universities and running programs of our own in different countries. I have friends and classmates who are studying in the UK, Chile, and Greece this semester for a variety of majors in both STEM and the humanities and social sciences.

Thankfully, the program to which I applied at Queen Mary University of London with Arcadia University was approved by WashU after careful consideration from the administration, so this semester I’m studying abroad in London! Get ready for lots of content my time in London and Europe (and perhaps a post or two about navigating the study abroad process at WashU).

Moving to London was a bit of a hassle thanks to COVID restrictions and needing to schedule testing after my arrival at the airport, but hopefully those won’t be a requirement in the future. My specific program at Queen Mary is supported by staff at Arcadia University in Pennsylvania, so they guided me along the process of registering for classes, securing housing, letting me know which documents to bring with me when I first arrive in London, and arranging my travel from the airport.

After seven hours on the plane, I arrived in London, got tested at the airport, and headed to my dorm at Queen Mary on the taxi pre-arranged by Arcadia. I spent the first few days unpacking and settling into my dorm room, meeting my flatmates, and getting a hang of the tube system. The next week was filled with orientation events to help me get acquainted with Queen Mary’s systems and campus and after I got those out of the way, my friends and I decided to take a trip up to Bath in Somerset to relax before classes began.

I’ve been living in London for over a month now and learning a lot about this new city and myself. If travel or learning about a new culture, language, or way of life interests you, I would definitely recommend considering study abroad while in college. To check out the programs that WashU has across all of its schools, you can visit sa.wustl.edu. And stay tuned for more posts from me about London (and parts of Europe), if you’re particularly interested in this region!