Anyone who has ever studied abroad will most likely describe the first few weeks in one compact, colorful term: whirlwind.
My time so far here in London, England, has been just that. So much so that it has taken me over a month to finally sit down and reflect on everything that has happened. I’m here in the UK from January to April participating in the Hansard Scholars Programme (British spelling, see I’m acclimating). During this programme I get the opportunity to intern for a Member of Parliament, as well as take classes on British government and policy at the London School of Economics.
With the Hansard Programme, you get to live right in the middle of London. Your walk to work will be right along the Millennium Mile and the River Thames until your scenic walk across Westminster Bridge to the Houses of Parliament.
It’s been an unbelievably dreamy time here in London, and I try to make sure to remember how lucky I am every time I go to the pub with my friends or witness a warm, pink sunset across the city.
Also while I’ve been here in Britain, I’ve taken great advantage of Europe’s close proximity and cheap flights. I’ve crossed Sweden, France, and Wales off my “list of countries to visit” list and will have been to Scotland, Italy, and Spain before my study abroad experience ends.
If I were to extend any advice, it would be to pause, reflect, and remember to appreciate when you’re right in the middle of the whirlwind. I can’t recommend the Hansard Scholars Programme enough—anyone with an interest in government should apply, and it is definitely not necessary to have a full understanding of how the UK political system works. You’ll catch on quickly.