8 Things They Never Told You About Studying in London: The Inside Scoop on Studying Abroad by Madeline Belknap
Drama major, Madeline Belknap, updates us on her amazing experience so far studying abroad in London and what they don’t tell you about living overseas.
8 Things They Never Told You About Studying in London (Because Honestly Why Would They?)
My name is Maddy Belknap, and I’m a junior drama major. I am currently 3,674 miles away from Washington DC in the city of London where everything is exactly the same, but totally different. In many ways, London feels like DC, with its vast amount of cultural attractions, its extensive theatre scene, and its infinite number of tourists standing on the left side of the escalator so no one can get by. I still go to theatre classes, people watch on the Metro (oh pardon me, the Tube), and eat an obscene amount of candy every day. However, those 3,674 miles of land and ocean separating Washington DC and London appears in the minute details of every day life. When I was leaving for the semester, a few of my friends gave me advice about their time here, or sent me articles with titles like “30 things they never tell you about studying abroad.” None of these prepared me for the real deal, but I shall make my own valiant attempt at informing you of my experiences so far (and in the words of my acting teacher “if I should fail, I will fail gloriously”).
- We do not speak the same language. Oh they speak English? Then why does everybody give you an odd look when you say “excuse me,” when you accidentally bump into them? It’s because “excuse me” is UK code for “I just farted” THAT’S WHY.
- “This doorknob is older than your country” Yeah probably. But none of this would be here if we hadn’t saved your booties during World War II. You’re welcome, smug tour guide.
- Everyone shares an acting teacher with Eddie Redmayne. Oh, that’s just me? Sorry, moving on.
- They use real sugar in soda. Also their candy tastes like someone poured milk into a bowl of sugar and dyed it to look like chocolate. These things are good. My dentist will not agree.
- You will have a near death experience. And it will be due to forgetting that you have to look to your right instead of your left before crossing the street.
- Their accent is so cute OMG I LOVE IT. No. YOUR accent is so cute OMG THEY LOVE IT. (Free shots from creepy old men at the bar!)
- Why does the fire alarm keep going off? This is not a universal London thing. I’m genuinely asking why the specific fire alarm in #Flat67A keeps going off at 1am when there is no fire.
- You’ll love it. Then you’ll hate it. Then you’ll love it again. People assume they will be different because they are living somewhere different. You’re not going to be enthused about everything all of the time, but that’s okay. You won’t miss anything if you skip a night at the bar to Skype your family; you don’t have to check off everything on the list of “30 things you have to do before you leave the UK” that your mother sent you (thanks mommy, I miss you); you can get emotional because the actual Rosetta Stone is two feet away from you and that’s amazing, and you can get emotional because there’s no cheese in this godforsaken Tesco and that sucks. There will be ups and downs, but just because you’re living in a foreign country doesn’t mean you aren’t living. In the end, we’re all here to learn about this country, acting, and ourselves.
Wow, Maddy! Such insight for someone so young!
Aw, thanks guys. I’m going to go stalk Benedict Cumberbatch now. Bye!