On the 11th of September, it was exactly a year ago since I first set foot on London ground as a King’s College student. I can recall how stressed I felt when looking out of the plane window that evening at Heathrow Airport, all I could think was: ‘You are going home in December.’
I am Ivan and I’m from the small country of Slovakia, with strong bonds with my friends and family, and I had left all of them to pursue my dreams. I felt selfish and foolish, I could have been happy at home as well. In addition, my first moments were far from being fabulous… The tube with shady individuals, the streets overflowing with people, the weather murkier than ever… I was stuck in this city and had nowhere to run, no one I knew, and no one I could really talk to.
Luckily, this scary first impression faded extremely quickly. Soon after my arrival in London, I got to meet with some of my future classmates from the Business Management course. We had organized an event on social networks before the start of classes. I must admit that going to that event was one of my best decision so far! I got to meet these equally scared yet motivated people from countries like Romania, Singapore, Germany, Indonesia etc. who were just as lost and alone as I was back then. These kinds of situations somehow attract people of similar natures and interests and brings them together. These people then became my buddies who I can always find support from.
Aside from making new friendships I then went on to discover one of the greatest aspects of London: it does not make you feel different from others! I have had the chance to get to know an incredible number of people I would have never thought I could have met. People from different cultures, backgrounds and places I had only read about! Multiculturalism is the weakest point of Slovak Republic, but London is just amazing when it comes to that!When you stroll around the city, you can see that it does not matter where you come from. I personally believe the best thing about London is the fact that people do not perceive you as a member of a race, religion, sex or orientation. The differences exist, but in harmony and everything (well, almost) is acceptable.
So when I look back to the initial situation, a lot has changed. London is not the scary place with never-stopping rain anymore. It is now a very friendly and welcoming place filled with people who are able to relate to you from the first moment because almost everyone has experienced the same initial shock. If I had known this before moving to London, would it have changed how stressed I was? Probably not! But experiencing it first-hand was a life-changer!