Trip Start Aug 25, 2007
1Trip End Ongoing
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Sorry I haven't emailed until now. I arrived in London last Sunday about 4 hours late since I ended up missing my flight in Shannon and having to catch a different one 4 hours later. I did get out of Shannon though which is a good thing considering I was given 24 hours to get out of the country. Then once I got into heathrow they wouldn't allow me to go through customs to get my immigration stamp, go figure! Once I finally got in I ended up sharing a taxi with a random girl (Jessica) who was on my flight and is going to be a prep school teacher in a city outside of London. She dropped me off around 4:30 and my first mandatory meeting for my flat was at 4:45. Good timing right! So I got in, dropped off my 4 bags, and took the tour while being extremely jet lagged. We were all pretty tired because out of 15 or so of us no one said a word 90% of the time on the hour and a half tour. A few of us went out afterwards to the local pub for some food and then once back I finished unpacking and passed out within a few hours.
Our first week was full of a lot of free time and orientation. Some people would have loved it. We had sessions on the british history, government, and culture which were very long but very informative. We also had a nice bobby who came and gave us safety advice for London. After a few days of lecture, which was in a museum, we had our first core class. Since I am marketing, I have a core of advertising and PR which is really more marketing strategy in the UK. I've done the course work several times now but I guess that will make me better once I am out of the classes and in the real world. My prof is a 40 year old marketing consultant who is originally from Ireland. She has a lot of experience and practicality to offer which will definitely be good for the future.
The second class that I am taking right now is Tourism in the UK. I was originally in Advertising in the UK but thankfully I transferred out. Tourism is from 9am-to 5pm on Monday. It tends to change every weeks but it was a little intense this week. We did however get to tour Westminster Abbey which was more beautiful than I had expected. Since the classes are only 6 weeks long there is a lot of information that is packed into a four hour session. It also only gives us a month to do all of the big projects such as our marketing plan for pink berries.
The second section of classes starts October 15th after our fall break. I actually went ahead and changed that class too. Now I will be taking Public Relations and Event Planning on Fridays during my internship. My internship should start at the same time. I haven't had my interview yet for it since it seems that my placement advisor cannot get a hold of the company to schedule an interview. Not exactly a good thing but I'm not panicking yet.
Our flat is located in the Crofton on Queens gate which is about 5 blocks from High Street which is the major shopping hub of Kensington. Although High Street doesn't have the major designers on it there is a large variety of stores which very wealthy people shop at. (If you didn't know Kensington is a very ritzy part of London and has a lot of celebrities and millionaires who live in the area) The Crofton is actually a very old house type building that is set up much like a dorm room. When we got there it was a lot like freshman year. It was an open door policy at first where everyone could walk in to each others rooms. That was quickly rectified though. The nice thing is that every room has its own bathroom and shower which is very nice. My room happens to be a triple but only Kate and I are sharing it. We actually had some come by just yesterday and ask if she could move in because her room didn't have any sunlight. We have decided that since we have used everything that would have been hers, such as the closet, cabinets, shelves, and bedding that it probably wouldn't be smart to have her move in. Plus the whole reasoning behind her wanting to move didn't make any sense. Down the hall we have a community kitchen with some british appliances that we can't figure out, including the stove! So funny I think I've burnt my meal several times on accident. (within about 3 minutes) The kitchen was really nice when we first got there but there are several debutants on the floor who don't understand that you have to clean up after yourself and have to share the space. One girl came in and was upset because someone else was using the same shelf in the fridge(there are 5 shelves and 20 girls). It is a very nice neighborhood though and we are very close to a lot of the city.
So far everyone has pretty much broken up into clicks already which is interesting. I don't think that I have ever been in a situation where people have broken off so quickly. My click formed almost immediately on my arrival. Since Kate and I didn't know anyone, but she got there earlier than I did so she had already met several girls. Tara and Margaret knew each other from Boston and then Jessie didn't know anyone so we quickly bonded. Now we have the core 5 and then random people who come out with us including two brits we met the first night. They are actually 25 and have real jobs but they enjoy mocking us when they have a chance.
Basically the city is amazing and although I don't quite feel at home that is due to the people and the culture shock of boston university more than the culture shock of London. London has so much variety I think almost anyone would feel completely at home here. I am quite excited to explore the city and the countryside around it. I hope that everyone is having a good end of summer (its 60degrees here) and a beautiful fall.