The Journey Begins- Ainsley Stanczak

My flight to London arrived late at night. My mother accompanied me on my first few days in London because, well, she loves London. We made it to the hotel, famished, and, in true London tradition, we went for some late-night curry. Because this wasn’t my first time in London, the transition of moving to a different continent wasn’t so daunting.

Spending the next couple of days buying things like cooking supplies, bedding, hangers, etc., I started to settle in to life in my flat. Attending all the King’s study abroad lectures that I could, helped me mentally prepare for the academics and organization of my upcoming term. I was unaware that the arrival week for the spring term coincides with examination week for King’s students. Wandering the campus, I found all of the libraries already packed with students! I was alone in my flat for much of the first week as my flatmates did not have exams. As flatmates’ names are not provided before arrival, I made an effort to introduce myself to them and all of them were very helpful in answering my questions about King’s and the living space. I was unaware that I needed to purchase all of my cooking supplies and cutlery but shopping around in London for basics is easy.

I took too long to get my UK SIM card; I would recommend getting one in the first couple of days as opposed to a week after arriving. While having consistent data is a huge relief when travelling around a new city, it also means you can exchange phone numbers at orientation events and really start connecting with fellow study abroad students. There are quite a few study abroad events in the first week and, while it might seem like a lot, I can honestly say these events helped me greatly to acclimate to the school and the city. The lectures allowed me to better understand the differences in grading and learning styles, which made the transition easier. Additionally, the social events provide the best and easiest environments to meet other students. Once lectures begin it became more difficult to find study abroad students to lean on as we all were in different housing. Take full advantage of the fun events and talk to a lot of people to get those contacts. I wish I had taken more advantage of the sports and societies that King’s has to connect in a non-academic way to full time students, I highly recommend looking into groups that interest you because there’s nothing to lose and everything to gain!

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