(Mariana Zimmerman and Robert Monroe are reporting for Temple Update during their semester with the SMC Study Abroad program in London. In her first report, Mariana looks at how Temple students are adjusting to live across the pond.)
The Royal Borough of Chelsea, London: What was once home to historical figures such as Sir Thomas More and Henry VIII, is now home to Temple University Students studying abroad.
With about thirty Temple Students attending, there are many different experiences. Paige Temos, a Strategic Communications Major, remembers being surprised. “My first impression when I got into London was that everything was backwards. The car situation really freaked me out. Everything was a lot more fast-paced – it was very “British.” People talk funny, but it was good.”
Journalism major Christasia Wilson says her background was good preparation. “My first impression was that it was a city. I’m from a city, so I was pretty comfortable,” says Wilson, “everything was moving around fast-paced, so I was used to it.”
Before arriving in London, most of the students didn’t know each other. But Advertising major Shannon King says being in a foreign country helped form friendships. “I think it’s good that we all went to the same school, so we have some destinations at home we can talk about,” says Shannon, “and kind of know some friends of each other, so that was a way to bond. Also, we are all in the same position.”
In addition to making new friends, students have also had to quickly grow accustomed to the currency exchange rate and a new transportation system. “I’m constantly just converting money in my head,” says Christasia, “so even when I want to do certain things, I’m just thinking about how much it really is in American dollars.”
Brandon Spain, and MSP major, is already a big fan of the London transport system: “Since we have our Oyster Cards, which we get to use for all our transportation, it’s a lot more efficient than SEPTA. I can pretty much get a bus whenever I need to, to wherever I need to. There’s never a time where I felt like I was relying on something that wasn’t going to work.”