How to Be Mistaken for a Londoner

Navigating London was something I genuinely loved doing. Getting lost was a thrill to me, and I always had a map handy just in case. However, in order to fit into this elaborate and diverse culture, I realized there was more I had to do. After some time, I got mistaken for a Londoner by tourists who came to the city from all over the world. The moment I opened my mouth and they found out I was American, they would kind of stare at me for a while as I navigated them to their destination without looking at a map. So, if you’d like to exude the confidence of being mistaken for a local, here are 6 things you need to know! (more…)

10 Things American Students Encounter in the UK

Studying abroad in another country is unlike any other experience you will ever have. You will encounter things you never had to on a daily basis. From interesting everyday language to decode, to stares you get when people hear your American accent, some things will confuse you and not make sense. Then you’ll realize one day when you’re back home from studying abroad that you said “ta for the biscuits” like a proper Northerner instead of “thanks for the cookies” and will finally be comfortable with things that made absolutely no sense at the beginning of your adventures. Here are 10 things that you will encounter and learn to deal with as you become a Britisher yourself (as told by my favorite band, The Beatles)! (more…)

Walk in the Footsteps of Musical Giants in Historic Liverpool

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When anyone mentions Liverpool, the common man may simply think of the popular Football/Soccer team. However, when I hear I think of the musical acts that came out of that blue-collar city and paved the way for musicians for generations to come. Liverpool is most famously known for being the birthplace of The Beatles.  Yet, Liverpool is the hometown of groups from the 60’s such as Gerry and the Pacemakers, new wave group from the 80’s A Flock of Seagulls, and 90’s pop sensations BBMak, as well as a range of solo artists ranging from Cilla Black to Elvis Costello. Liverpool is truly the epicenter for musical talent. So much in fact, that in the 60’s, the sound that came out of Liverpool was known as the “Mersey Beat” (Liverpool resides along the River Mersey). Clearly, if you’re a musical nerd like me, Liverpool is a city that you need to visit! I was going to write another blog that outlined my journey through Liverpool, but my heart was set on doing anything that involved The Beatles with the very little amount of time I had to explore the city. However, there is so much to do in Liverpool. Here at 5 things to do in this city that is boasting with culture! (more…)

Wales – Don’t Miss this UK Gem!

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I think Wales is severely underrated. Many travelers seem to skip over Wales on their trip throughout the UK, straight from London to Dublin. However, this is one gem that should not be skipped over! I took a weekend trip to this great country with my favorite group, International Friends, and it was such a memorable trip. The group trip went throughout medieval towns with some of the oldest structures in the country, to the mountains and the ports of the most breathtaking views in all of the UK. (more…)

The English Countryside – The Cotswolds

During my stay in London, I wanted to venture out and see what the UK, and England in general had to offer. When people think of England, they usually think London, and they’re pretty much done with that thought process. However, I spent five months traveling all over – From the mountains in Wales, to the cobbled streets of Edinburgh. The UK has a lot to offer, and I know a lot of people that I studied with missed out on the opportunity to travel deep within the UK. I spent many a-weekend taking day or 3-day trips around the UK and Ireland. I took awesome trips with my study abroad group, but I also wanted to go to other places. While everyone was interested in the south of Spain or Paris, I was interested solely in the UK and Ireland, so I took trips by myself with a tour group called International Friends and it was simply amazing and the best decision I ever made. I’m the kind of person who doesn’t let opportunity pass them by. Also, the best part about going alone is that you can do your own thing (and I can be fiercely independent) and go where you want to go! International Friends is a great resource! Not only are they reasonably priced and take you to some really cool places, but it’s a small van (up to 16 people) and they give you your independence to roam about when the educated and enthusiastic tour guides spew all the knowledge they have on to you. I can honestly say, I learned so much from them, whether it was on the tour trail or having a pint at a pub – they were wonderful. (more…)

London Care Package

I have a lot of friends and family who are incredibly generous. When I was going to London for the first and second time to study, they bought me guide books, SIM cards for my phone, and Transport for London cards that you need to use to get on buses and the Underground. So, if you know someone who is going to London or the UK in general, and you’d like to let your creative juices flow, here is  genius way to make a “care package” for your friend or family member to introduce them to stuff they’re going to need, and introduce them to the UK! This idea came about over a dinner with one of my good childhood friends. We both studied abroad in London in 2010, and we still long for access to Afternoon Tea. (more…)

Why Study Abroad in London? To become a Londoner of course!

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I grew up in a very Midwestern household – scratch that, maybe not so much a traditional Midwestern household.  My dad is from India and my mom is from Brooklyn, NY and is of German and Irish descent. My childhood was fantastic. It wasn’t because we lived in a nice city on the Westside of Cleveland, and it wasn’t because we were allowed to eat Fruit Roll-ups anytime we wanted, but it was because my parents always put an emphasis on culture – explore and have a look at the outside of the bubble in which you live in. (more…)