Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Hello from London!

Hi, Nicole here!

I just wanted to say a quick aloha from London! It is beautiful and glorious and so different from Hawaii. There are so many things to do and so many places to see. I am located in the heart of London and I go to Uni at Regent's Park which is a park owned by her royal highness the Queen. It is cared for every day, snow or rain.

I chose to study abroad in the Spring Term because I was curious about the difference in weather. Wrong choice. I love the sun and warm weather. But the good thing is, in London it is an average of 38 to 40 F.

Packing Options 
(Because the weather in London is wack. For example, snow at 30F one day and then sunshine all day at 48F.)

Packing Tip: Pack basics and purchase coats and clothing in London. There is a great thing called Unidays which gives discounts to students - yay! Also because Londoners are so fashionable and if you are into fashion you might have a lot of fun shopping at Oxford Street! There's a glorious place called Primark, H&M, Topshop and Selfridges.

Also don't bring too many electrical appliances (electric tooth brush, hair dryer, hair straightener etc.. Ladies, you can purchase a hairdryer at a Boots because you don't want to blow anything up.)

- 1 winter coat
- scarf or gloves
- 3 sweaters
- 3 pants + jeans
- 1 or 2 walking shoes + 1 boots or nice shoes that will keep your feet dry. (Skip heels the roads are horrible and mostly cobble stone or bricks)
- 4 long sleeves or short sleeves to layer
- 1 dressy outfit
- 1 week worth of socks and under garments
- 1 or 2 power convertors and adapter (amazon or best buy)
- travel shampoo and etc. (you can purchase these at Boots as well)

First Week in London 
I arrived at Heathrow and exchanged some cash. The exchange fee was 3 pounds.  Then I took a cab with my room mate to Regent's University, where we picked up our room key. It cost us 80 pounds which we split. If you don't have too much luggage you can take the tube but it is less of a hassle (after a 15 hour flight) to catch a cab. Then we made our way to North Gower. For some reason, the IPO/Study Abroad team at Regent's tries to lump a lot of study abroad students together in the same living situation. I shared a flat with five other girls from the mainland and one girl from Argentina. There are three rooms and each has a private bath and shower.
I had arrived in London on a Saturday and had the Sunday to relax because famous orientation week started on Monday. Regent's is serious about orientation week. There was a trip/tour through London on Saturday that I missed. The orientation was very informative and provided a great opportunity to make friends. In just the first day I met girls and guys from Germany, Australia, Brazil and many girls from the east coast.

Here is Regent's University on a snowy day. 

Regent's Park is huge. Every day, every hour people run around the park. There is also an observatory, a zoo, foot ball fields, and a beautiful lake populated with swans and ducks.

The walk from North Gower, the off campus residency, is 10-15 minutes but if you have a beautiful view every morning it might take a little longer as you enjoy the sight. 

And then we had a sunny day. Another gorgeous view on the walk to school. 
The sunset is almost like home! (At Regent's Park). 

So many beautiful sights to discover in Regent's park. 

First Week cont. 

Westminster Abbey is beautiful. 
Hello Big Ben!

An exquisite statue at Buckingham Palace. 
London Eye on a gray day. 

So funny story... They were filming Sherlock Holmes in an apartment right next door to my flat in North Gower! 

Hi Benedict Cumberbatch! Good work there. 

Props on the set of Sherlock BBC. 

A hui hou kakou! 

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