Name: Alexandria Waycott
Study Abroad: London, England
After previously studying abroad in Ireland, Alex knew that the travel bug had officially bitten. She taught English in an orphanage in Romania before coming home for one semester. In January 2015, she headed back to the British Isles to attend the University of East London, excited for more adventures and to meet new people.
With London being a much bigger city than Waterford had been, Alex was excited for something new. “London is the hub, or the heart, of the UK. Everything is constantly moving, people are everywhere, and there is always something to do. It was much easier,” she said, “to get around in the city, with effective transportation and train systems.” And there was always free stuff to do if you were bored – museums, quaint or posh areas, and lots of green space to visit.
The University of East London has a big campus with high security, like the rest of London. It became apparent pretty quickly to Alex that this experience would be different from the one before: “East London is multicultural, with few people actually being from London or even the UK. I lived on campus, with two other students from UFV. I met some of the exchange students and was friends with them, but I mostly spent my time with some of my British friends.” Instead of doing all of the touristy things, Alex was able to experience London as a true Brit.
“One of my favourite experiences,” she reminisces, “was the day I went to a horse race with my British friends. We had to get super dressed up, and we had such a fun day! It was interesting, a new cultural experience for me.”
Exploring a lot of London, Alex found her favourite areas for going out and hanging out. Camden and Shoreditch were fun to go out in the evenings, while Primrose Hill in the west was a bit more “posh,” but had a high hill with an amazing view of the city. Art galleries were amazing, and iconic paintings were present in every corner. Alex also travelled to Edinburgh, Scotland when her mother came to visit her in London.
Alex loved both study abroad experiences for different reasons. Leaving London was of course bittersweet, but a little easier than leaving Waterford. “The cure is to keep travelling,” she stresses. “It’s the people and the experience of study abroad that make it so amazing. The best thing is the friends you make, the places you can go. My advice? Keep track, take pictures, and stay in touch – it’s so valuable.”
Now finishing her Bachelor of Arts in English Literature, Alex is looking to her next adventure, considering completing her Master’s degree in the Netherlands. But no matter what, it is apparent that Alex will continue to travel and experience the world.
If you’d like to read about Alex’s previous adventures in Waterford, Ireland, click here.