Posts Tagged ‘living in london’

Student in the City

London is a lively city, and it seems as if there’s always something to do–whether it’s attending a gig, watching a play, going shopping or browsing the markets. According to my Bandsintown App, which allows you to search for local gigs and concerts, there are literally gigs almost every day of the week! And they are all accessible with the tube. If you love theatre, you can attend one of the many shows in London’s West End, which is such a large and lively area at night. If you’re a shopaholic, you can go to Westfield Stratford which is one tube stop away from Mile End and is one of the EU’s largest shopping malls! And if you want to just socialize with friends, you can visit one of London’s many pubs. I really believe you can find anything that suits your interests in London. If you’re ever bored, you can just head over to the nearest tube station and the city is an Oyster tap away.

Although the universities in London don’t have large campuses, there is no lack of study space in London. There are so many cafes, especially in the East End near QMUL. These cafes are perfect to go to after class to revise and work on coursework.

And though living in London adds up to be expensive for students, there are still many frugal options available. For example, browsing the many museums in London is free–not to mention educational. Living in London is hard on one’s wallet, but it does end up being a good lesson on budgeting as a student.

So far, I have really enjoyed studying in London. In addition to having wonderful experiences exploring my interests in the city, there are also so many places in London that are relevant to my studies in English literature. For example, I’ve been to John Keats’ house and even visited the pub where Charles Dickens frequented while writing his manuscriptsand then I wrote about my visit for an assignment! When I first arrived in London, I admit I didn’t think the city was that great, but now that I’ve been here for seven months, the city has really grown on me, and I’ve come to appreciate the vast amount of options available. Whether you want to spend your day studying in a cafe, going shopping, or browsing museums, any option you choose will be easily accessible in London.



The Labyrinth

Last week I moved into my first ever apartment with four friends in south east London that we’ve dubbed ‘The Labyrinth’, due to it’s maze like features. I’d been spending the summer in between Exeter and London since moving out of Queen Mary’s Albert Stern in June. My new room is more spacious than last year and one of my walls is pretty much made out of windows!


Getting our apartment was no easy endeavour. Working through property searches and the abundance of emails from estate agents was an arduous task. Not to mention relying on four other people to do exactly the same thing as you on time! But now that we’ve got the keys, I couldn’t be happier with the place, I may not have the best view; I think my flatmate Sam wins that award with his view of Canary Wharf.
Of course, we had the mandatory debate over who gets which room. Whilst Sam realised he’s 6″6 all over again and had to take the room with the biggest bed, our flatmate James was happy with the smaller room as he’s planning on spending most of his time outside of the flat.

JamesThe Wharf
Of course, as with any student flat with four boys, there was FIFA.

I think that this year I’m going to learn a lot more about myself all over again. Living with four friends and having to negotiate situations where everyone is happy can be tough. But when you get through it, I think that everyone comes out stronger, as themselves and as a group.

New Year’s Fireworks

I came to London several days before Queen Mary opened for the semester for the sole purpose of watching the fireworks at the London Eye. Not knowing anybody in London, I stayed at a youth hostel for a few days, and went to Westminster bridge with a few people I met at the hostel. The firework show was excellent, and the view from the bridge was excellent!

The London Eye four hours before the big show.

The London Eye in the midst of the fireworks.


To any students considering a spring semester study abroad at Queen Mary, I would suggest coming to see the fireworks unless you have some specific New Years plans. It was a great cultural experience as well as a wonderful show. The days between the fireworks and Queen Mary opening offer a prime time to explore London — visiting Bond/Oxford street in time for the tail-end of the Christmas displays. It also gives you time to learn how to travel London — and if you follow Melanie’s three-part guide to London’s public transit, you will be set for the rest of your time here.

A great thing about wandering through London is the sheer number of museums, art galleries, and locations of historical significance you pass through. When my friend and I embarked from Waterloo on a quest to find Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese, a wonderfully historic pub on Fleet Street, we ended up passing all sorts of sights — including Buckingham Palace and Westminster Abbey to name a few. I honestly cannot extol the virtues of wandering through London enough, it is one of the best ways to get to see the city as a whole rather than visiting only specific sites and missing the big-picture view of the city.

As a last note, if you are interested in a truly unique and historical dining experience, Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese is a magnificent place to visit. It was first built in 1538, and rebuilt after the Great Fire in 1666. The premises have not been modernized in the way most old pubs have, so it has many small bar areas over several floors, low ceilings, and somewhat cramped quarters. However, it is a great taste of a pub experience in the 16th or 17th century.

-S. Quinlan Arlington, 14 March 2013

It snowed!

At last, just once I’d settled into my new home and finally found a London-proof winter coat!


Calm descended across the suburbs as I looked out this morning to see…


 Snowy suburbs: first glimpses of London dressed in white


Forgive this Australian for indulging in this winter wonderland… and just quietly, whoever knew that fresh-fallen snow glitters under lamplight like Edward Cullen in a desert?!


Winter wonderland: Snow in south-west London


Snow trails: all creatures great and small ski along Southbank


 Snow in Mile End: the view of Regent’s Canal


Enjoy more snowy city pics here from Londonist.



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