Although the semester is coming to an end, I still have 88 days left in the UK and, if you’re following Brexit, about 10 left in the EU. However, not all is fun and games as when classes end, exam preparation begins. Unlike permanent student here at QMUL who will be taking exams for the last two semesters, I am lucky that I will only have to take them for the past one. While this is a relief, the stress still lies as each exam is worth 75% of my final grade. Opposed from this 75%, the remaining 25% of my grade comes from coursework that was completed throughout the semester. I scored high marks on my coursework, which consisted of mini-tests and lab reports, so I don’t feel too insecure going into exam season, but 75% is a BIG portion. I am happy that throughout the semester I have found myself a nice study group that holds the same expectations of themselves.
With classes generally requiring less work here as more focus in placed on finals exams, I have had the opportunity to travel to some amazing places. So far, I have been to Slovakia, France, Monaco, Italy, Iceland, Ireland. This weekend I will going to Poland for only one night. The best part of living in London is definitely the ease of getting around Europe. With five airports, prices are always kept pretty low. For example, my roundtrip ticket to Poland came to about $43 USD. I absolutely love travel and studying abroad has definitely given me the opportunity to do so. More than this, to each of these places I have visited, I have had a different travel buddy. While on occasions they have also been from Rollins, other times they have been people I have met while studying here. In fact, I hung-out with my new friend Lydia a total of 1 time before going to Bratislava, Slovakia with her. Even though I didn’t know her well before the trip, I did after! Nothing makes you get to know a person more than spending a few days in a foreign country with them! While this has worked out well most of the time, sometimes after traveling with some people, I realize that I don’t like them as much as I thought I did. However, out of all things that can go wrong traveling internationally, I’ll take being annoyed by someone’s music taste any day.
Despite all of the traveling I have done, I have seen a lot of sites in London and look forward to exploring more now that the weather is getting nicer. One of my English classes actually made us go on a walking tour of the city in groups. This was a nice experience as it was unique to explore the city in a group of exchange students, like myself, as well as some London locals. Of my friends who are native to the UK, it’s surprising to me that so many of them are open to partaking in the “tourist” activities. Together we have attended a ballet at the Royal London Opera House, visited the Tate Modern art museum (which oddly none of them have never been before) and tried out some trendy clubs in the Mayfair area. For the most part, I actually enjoy spending time with my friends from the UK rather than other exchange students.
As for the bad, to sum it up quickly, I do not like how they do not season the food here in England. For the most part, everything is overpriced and bland. I didn’t like doing laundry when I had a machine in my own building, I REALLY don’t like now that I have to take it to a laundry mat. The area that QMUL is located in can be a little sketchy at night, making it uncomfortable to be alone. Toilet paper cannot be found in many public restrooms.