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Sarah Mai

Sarah Mai is an English and Art major studying at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities. She is a talented illustrator and will be incorporating those skills into her blog as she observes London during her Spring 2019 semester!

Recent Posts

The Before and After Of A Semester Abroad in London

May 12, 2019 10:03:00 AM / by Sarah Mai

Before she closes out her study abroad experience, Sarah celebrates the changes she's seen in herself and the opportunity to explore London on an intimate level. As she writes her last post for CAPA, she sums up her favorite parts of being abroad, including being close to history, becoming well-versed in navigating London, and traveling independently.

Many thanks to Sarah for sharing and illustrating her life in London with us this spring. Your written and visual stories will be missed! We wish you the best of everything as you enter your next chapter.

(Original illustrations by Sarah Mai)

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Posted in: London, England, Why Study Abroad

Tips for Keeping a Travel Journal of Your Semester Abroad

Apr 20, 2019 10:23:00 AM / by Sarah Mai

In this week's post, Sarah shares how she documents her life abroad—beyond posting everything online—in a travel journal! From writing and sketching to collecting keepsakes, she suggests several ways to fill up your very own travelogue. Check out some of the pages from Sarah's travel journal and see how she captures her time in London and visits to Europe in her own words (and illustrations).

(Original illustrations by Sarah Mai)

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Posted in: London, England, International Education

How to Not Break the Bank When Studying Abroad

Apr 12, 2019 10:32:00 AM / by Sarah Mai

Budgeting before and during your study abroad experience can ease your worries when you're living in a global city. In this week's post, Sarah shares her comprehensive guide with 10 ideas on how you can plan ahead, build up savings, and maintain a budget while studying abroad in London. The last thing you want to do is worry! Check out some of Sarah's own experiences and lessons. 

(Original illustrations by Sarah Mai)

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Posted in: London, England, Scholarships & Financing

10 Tips for Sustainable Living While Studying Abroad in London

Mar 31, 2019 10:19:00 AM / by Sarah Mai

In this week's post, Sarah talks about how she cultivated good habits for a sustainable lifestyle in a global city—on a student budget. London is a green city and offers a lot of options for mindful consumption, waste reduction, and cost-effective travel. Go through the pros and cons of this list and see how you can incorporate some of these tips abroad!

(Original illustrations by Sarah Mai)

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Posted in: London, England, Predeparture & Study Abroad Preparations

How to Spend a Day At Camden Market 

Mar 22, 2019 12:19:00 PM / by Sarah Mai

Camden Market is one of London's must-visit spots. In this week's post, Sarah shares why this is one of her favorite boroughs in the city and why you can eat, shop, and enjoy interacting with the locals there. Get a quick intro to bartering 101 at the market and what to expect at thrift stores in the area!

(Original illustrations by Sarah Mai)

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Posted in: London, England, Local Culture

CAPA Living In London: On Student Accommodations & More

Mar 18, 2019 11:01:00 AM / by Sarah Mai

In this week's post, Sarah gives a rundown on what to expect at your student accommodation in London and what to bring and buy when you arrive. She also dives deeper into the nitty-gritty and shares her firsthand living experience, what you can do within the proximity of your apartment, kitchen etiquette, and specific suggestions on how to make this your home away from home. Don't miss out on Sarah's tips and tricks in this post!

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Posted in: London, England, Predeparture & Study Abroad Preparations

2 Must-Do Walking Tours for CAPA Students in London

Feb 7, 2019 9:23:00 AM / by Sarah Mai

One of the best ways to get familiar with your city is by walking through it. In this week's post, Sarah tells us how she got a basic footing in London through tours in Southbank and Greenwich. Take a look at some of the iconic attractions spotted on these walking tours and read some of Sarah's tips to successfully enjoy your time in this global city. 

(Original illustrations by Sarah Mai)

Since my workload has been very manageable the first few weeks of class in London, I’ve had ample time to do some exploration around the city and to get involved with some of the CAPA city events. My internship also gives me the opportunity to travel to different locations, so I’ve managed to check off some of the major sightseeing/touristy attractions within the first couple of weeks very easily! I feel like getting that out of the way gives me more time to find the hole-in-the-wall spots and get more familiar with the city, which is what makes the place feel so much more like home and makes me feel like much less of a tourist.

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Posted in: London, England, Local Culture

What to Expect During Your First Few Days in London

Jan 23, 2019 10:03:00 AM / by Sarah Mai

In this week's post, Sarah tells us how she had a smooth start in London, from passing through customs all the way to exploring her neighborhood. She also unpacks her first week in the city and what she has picked up on so far. Take a look at her helpful tips about grocery shopping, navigating the Tube, and getting a phone plan. 

(Original illustrations by Sarah Mai)

I successfully made it to London in one piece and have settled in nicely within the neighborhood in my new city—which is such a relief after a stressful pre-departure week! I’m not a terribly anxious traveler, but I found myself worrying quite a bit about how navigating the airport and Tube stops would go for me once I arrived in London with quite little sleep. Luckily, it was a very smooth travel day. The immigration line to check my passport and visa post-flight took about 45 minutes to pass through, so bringing a snack along is a good move (something easy to eat with one hand, like a granola bar). After a pleasant interaction with the immigration agent, I quickly made my way to the underground station (marked as the London Underground, not trains, which are much more expensive and won’t take you where you need to go).

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Posted in: London, England, Local Culture

The Do's and Don'ts of Preparing for A Semester in London

Jan 16, 2019 11:08:00 AM / by Sarah Mai

In her first post, Sarah makes a case for preparing everything early—from applying to study abroad and collating documents to packing for your needs. Check out some of these lessons and save yourself from several headaches as you get ready for a new semester abroad!

(Original illustrations by Sarah Mai)

There seemed to be an endless list of things to do before my flight off to London. When I completed one task, three more appeared in my email inbox. Determined to complete everything on my own, I worked through each of the steps of pre-departure, ending up finishing my task list the morning of my flight day—which I do not recommend (more on that in a second). Despite my shortcomings, there was light at the end of the tunnel, and I learned some very important lessons before I set my feet on British soil.

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Posted in: London, England, Predeparture & Study Abroad Preparations

Meet Sarah Mai: Official CAPA London Blogger Spring 2019

Jan 4, 2019 4:34:00 PM / by Sarah Mai

Meet Sarah Mai, an official CAPA blogger in London for Spring 2019:

University: University of Minnesota, Twin Cities
Major: English and Art
Study abroad location: London, UK
Internship or volunteer placement: Rosemond Art Group, Art PR Marketing

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Posted in: London, England

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