BY SHELBY McGUIGAN
I’ve been studying in London now for a full week with the Sigmund Weis School of Business London Program, which includes myself, 18 other students and Associate Professor of Accounting Jerry Habegger.
I knew before even coming to Susquehanna that I wanted to choose this program to fulfill my abroad requirement. This program is very helpful with easing the transition to living in London.
I also have heard many great things about the prestige of this program, which includes a consulting project with a real company from Prague.
For those of you who have taken the “Global Business Perspectives” class, it’s similar to that, but there is much more on the line. Not to mention, all of the classes you take will fulfill core requirements.
We all live in the same apartment complex in Waterloo. Classes, the London Eye, Big Ben, Trafalgar Square and many other exciting places are at most 30 minutes away.
After the first day of walking around the city, my legs were already sore. I definitely should have taken other people’s advice when they told me to bring good walking shoes.
One of the hardest things to get used to about being abroad is the time difference and lack of communication with friends and family from home. The time difference from London to Pennsylvania is five hours. Typically, it’s already past lunchtime here in London when some people from home are just waking up.
Another major communication issue is not having readily available internet connection to talk to people from home wherever I go. I did buy a data plan here, but it is not reliable. In a way, it’s refreshing to be “off the grid” for a few hours a day.
While I love living in London so far, I could never live here indefinitely. The main reason is because it is way too expensive. There are ways to cut down on your spending, but you also have to have a lot of self-control to resist buying food and souvenirs. The exchange rate is about $1.50 per 1 euro, but things are the same price as they would be in the United States. For example, a McDonald’s cheeseburger is 99 pence just like it would be 99 cents in the U.S., but 99 pence would get you a cookie along with your cheeseburger in the U.S. because pence are worth more than pennies.
It seems like you have to pay for everything here. At the grocery stores, you must pay five pence per plastic bag you use, and checking your coat at a bar will usually cost you two pounds. Traveling can also get expensive if some places are too far to walk because every time you get on the tube or the bus, you pay. Additionally, flats in the city are very expensive and can easily reach into the millions of pounds.
It’s only been a week, so I’m sure I have much more to learn.