In this week's blog post, London blogger Makenna shares some of her favorite aspects of studying abroad in the fall-- such as seeing the changing of the seasons and exploring holiday displays around the city.
When I began thinking about studying abroad, fall semester was not the ideal time. However, after choosing to study abroad in the fall, I’m so glad I did.
I found that it was much easier to prepare to go abroad in the fall because I had the whole summer to build up my bank account so I wasn’t as worried about money. I had ample time to think about packing so I knew exactly what I wanted to bring. Had I come in the spring, I would have spent money over the course of the fall semester and had less time to think about packing and preparing to make a home in a new country.
When it comes to weather, I didn’t leave summer when I came to London. The first few weeks of my time here were warm and gave me the perfect chance to become acclimated to a new city. Spring semester still tends to be cold, which makes exploring so much harder. Because the weather was still warm when I got here, I was able to walk more often and further familiarize myself with the different neighborhoods that I might have missed had I been taking the tube to stay warm in the colder winter/spring term months.
I explored Brighton in the warmer weeks. The beach is only about an hour away by train, and I loved soaking up the sun.
Fall is beautiful in London and didn’t really get cold until a few weeks ago. I was able to watch the leaves turn gold and hang over Hyde Park and see the fog mist over Brussels because that’s what happens during this time of year. Fall is my favorite season and encountering it in a new place was near magical.
Greenwich is beautiful in the fall. Seeing the leaves change was one of my favorite London experiences.
With fall comes the holidays. I know a lot of people miss their families during the holiday season, and I missed mine at times. However, celebrating Friendsgiving gave me the opportunity to say “thank you” to the girls who have made this experience the best I could have asked for. Zehra made the best mac and cheese I’ve ever tried, Delilah brought cupcakes that made me mouth water and Caroline brought pumpkin bread that tasted like home. We sat and talked about how much we’ve grown and what we plan to do in the next few months. Spending that day/evening with my friends not only gave me time to appreciate, but to hear about their plans and make my own that would help me cross paths with them again. Had I studied in the spring, I wouldn’t have met them and I can’t fathom doing London with anyone else.
My roommate Zehra made the best brie and cranberry braid to celebrate!
My friends on “Friendsgiving”
The lights have all gone up around London. I watched them light up Oxford Street and took my parents down Regent Street to see all the Christmas windows. My class looked at Fortnum and Mason’s huge window turned calendar display. I finished my London holiday celebration by exploring Hyde Park’s Winter Wonderland and will soon be dazzled by Covent Garden’s Christmas display. London does Christmas well, and I’m so grateful for the opportunity to celebrate the holidays with it by studying abroad in the fall.
Hyde Park’s Winter Wonderland spread some Christmas spirit for my final weeks in London.
Makenna Sturgeon is an official CAPA blogger for fall 2019, sharing her story in frequent posts on CAPA World. A Journalism major at University of Colorado Boulder, she is studying abroad in London this semester.
Makenna's journey continues all semester so stay tuned.