I Think I’m Going to Like It Here. Sharon Hammer, Hamilton College (Sep-Dec 2019)

Getting to know my new home city:

…when the opportunity arose to get as far out of my comfort zone as possible and study in London fall semester of my final year, I dove right in!

Even in a jet-lagged haze after about twelve hours of travel, powered by granola and countless coffees, there was no doubt that we weren’t in Kansas anymore. “Kansas” for me being split between Weston, Florida (about a 45 minute drive up from Miami) and Hamilton College in Clinton, NY (about a 5-6 hour train up from NYC). I’ve gotten so used to living close, but not quite close enough, and vaguely upwards from central hubs. Even with my experience summer interning in these cities, my opportunities to strap in and become part of the landscape has always been cut off by the start or end of a semester at my home institution. So when the opportunity arose to get as far out of my comfort zone as possible and study in London fall semester of my final year, I dove right in!

            There is something for everyone in London, and it’s so accessible when compared to the States. I can stand by that statement. I’ve made many trips from Notting Hill to Kew, armed with my Oyster Card, my CityMapper App, and a general sense of direction. Thankfully, the London tube and bus system is beautifully navigable for both native and tourist alike.

As a fan of the history and the arts, I’ve been amazed at the volume, as well as quality, of programming throughout the city. More amazed at the fact that so much of it can be free-of-charge or reasonably priced for students and young people. 

The tutorial system here has been a great facilitator of balance while abroad. With every excursion, there are hours of school work getting done at a pace that satisfies my curiosity as well as my learning style. I feel as though I’m really taking ownership of my education. The resources are here at Queen Mary, you just have to be a self-starter and really grab onto them.

Another resource I’ve been so grateful for is the network of truly lovely Londoners who’ve given me such great company at the Mile End campus. More than anything else, I’m looking forward to the community I’m creating with every visit down the road to Genesis Cinema, every night at the pubs watching football, and every quick bite at Green Pepper. To be the smallest stitch in the fabric of London.

Even if for a short while!

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