As an international student, I want to live my summer to the fullest in London and Europe because I know that I won’t be living here much longer. Being a master’s student, I don’t exactly have time off because my dissertation is due in August, however that does not mean I can’t enjoy the British summer!
One of the most important things I’ve learned is that you can do so much as long as you plan your time well. For example, in early June I was able to take a holiday to Denmark. I stayed with a close friend who was born and raised in Aalborg and had the opportunity to explore a large part of the beautiful country. I planned this trip in between finishing lab work and beginning the writing process for my dissertation. This trip was very important to me, not only because I was able to spend time with an old friend, but also because it gave me the mental clarity I needed to get back to work. It is quite difficult to see all of my friends back home and around the world and enjoying beach days when I’m stuck in the library writing all day and my trip to Denmark allowed me to have some fun away from school.
Another fun thing London offers during the summer is British Summer Time (BST) Hyde Park. This is a music festival that goes on mostly during the weekend for a few weeks during the summer. I went to see Florence and the Machine and had a lovely time. The outdoor setting really allowed me to enjoy summer during the show and the long days British summer offers makes for a perfect day to be outside.
Lastly, I highly recommend exploring the city. London has so many markets, many of which are outdoors. Shoreditch and Camden are great places to start if you are in the mood for exploring markets because both have cool vibes and offer something for everyone. You can also walk along the river in Camden and check out some street art while walking to Primrose Hill to watch the sunset. However, you shouldn’t feel stuck in zones 1 and 2 because there are tons of parks and adventures to be had in outer London. Fortunately, London has a great transportation system and you can get to many of these places that truly let you escape London life for a bit in about one hour. Crystal Palace Park is one place I really enjoyed and I have a plan to visit another park that is off the beaten path this weekend. Basically, the adventures to be had during the summer are endless. Take advantage of any free time you have, especially if it’s sunny in London!