Thursday, September 4, 2014

Living Arrangements in London

The living arrangements in London were very different than they were in Paris. This is mostly due to the fact that all of the housing was independent in Paris and in London we all lived together in a dorm. By 'all', I am referring to the Drexel Abroad students. It was very interesting to have the independent dynamic in Paris. The school there was already much more of a "fend for yourself" type of place and then we all went home to our own separate places. I never really got to know the other students on my trip until we made the move to London and became roommates. The setting was ideal, South Kensington in front of Hyde Park.

37 Hyde Park Gate - AKA Home in London
It is prime real estate, probably one of the most expensive properties in the world in the most expensive neighborhood in the world. Yes, by world I mean WORLD. It was definitely a struggle to not spend frivolously, especially when the shopping is so amazing and a half a mile away from our front door. We did live on the fifth floor of a building with no AC and no elevator, so that had some influence on my decision to stay in sometimes as opposed to going out and spending more money. Our university in London did provide us with Oyster (subway/bus) cards so we had free travel all around zones 1 and 2 of the London transport system, this was a blessing. It was hard to make any excuses not to go sightseeing when we did not have to spend any money to do so, we just needed to practice self control for the shopping addiction problem. Our apartment was blocks from a pharmacy, a Whole Foods, countless restaurants, and many other convenient things. We could not have been luckier. As far as the apartment itself, we all had a shared room with a roommate/ multiple roommates. I was with Gabrielle, my good friend from Drexel. We had a bunch bed and two closets. I immediately went for the top bunk, because A) I felt like a little kid when I first arrived to London and thought it would be fun and B) I get paranoid of the top bunk crashing on me in my sleep if I am on the bottom. I know, I am crazy. We all shared a big communal kitchen and common room. I absolutely loved getting to know the other students in the Paris/London and Berlin/London dual city programs and my one big regret is that I had not met them sooner. I do wish we were forced to live in Paris as well because it is really a blessing. Forming friendships helps you experience more parts of the city and it makes it feel more like a home.

Just some of the amazing friends I made in
 London, all students from Drexel.

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