September 30, 2012

The Book Club, The London Zoo & Hillsong

Well the past few days have flown by.
I spent all week in class, trying to figure out how things work around here but this coming week will be as much of a surprise since I dropped 2 of my classes and added another photography class.

My new schedule looks like this:
Monday: Photography Practice 10 am - 1 pm & 2 pm - 5pm
Tuesday: NO CLASS ("Independent Study" for Photography Practice)
Wednesday: Thinking Photography 10 am - 1 pm & 2 pm - 5pm
Thursday: NO CLASS ("Independent Study" for Thinking Photography)
Friday: Studies in Travel Writing 2 pm - 4 pm

Pretty rough, I know. 

Thursday night, a group of us went out to The Book Club, a fun bar in the area. We had tons of fun just sitting around talking, drinking beer cider, & dancing to some old school music.

Friday after class, I met up with a friend and we took a walk through Green Park & around The River Thames. It made me so incredibly grateful to be studying and living here in London for 4 months. This city is beautiful.

I went to the London Zoo on Saturday. It was worth every cent pence & I absolutely loved it.

This morning, Kathryn & I headed to Tottenham Court Road for church. Hillsong London is going to be an absolute blessing to me in the next few months, I already know it. The service is held in Dominion Theatre where the musical, "We Will Rock You" has been showing for the past 9 years so having worship in a theatre was a completely new experience but it was so fun!

September 25, 2012

Pubs, Clubs & the First Day of School

On Saturday a ton of us met up in Leicester Square to go to a pub & a club in central London. We met up at a pub called "Garrick Arms" for a couple drinks and after we all headed to a club called "Cafe de Paris". Getting in to the club was a problem for some people because of the strict dress code so our group split up and a few of us headed to a pub called "Slug and Lettuce" (weird, I know) and then a club called "Ruby Blue". We had a ton of fun & even managed to figure out the crazy bus schedule back to the dorm at around 3am.

Yesterday was my first day of senior year. SENIOR YEAR OF COLLEGE. Where did the time go?
Anyway, I had my photography class at the Harrow Campus, about an hour on the tube from where I live (I was almost late!). I had no idea what to expect since my schedule said I had class Monday & Tuesday from 10am - 5pm but it turns out Tuesdays are saved for working on our own in the studio, shooting out in London, or using the printing lab. 

I had so much fun meeting the people in my class (again, from all over the world) and getting to know my tutors. We had to choose our area of London for our big semester project so we stood in front of a huge cork-board with a projection of a tube map on it & we took turns throwing a dart at the board. My dart hit "Canada Water" so I'll be spending a lot of time there this semester trying to figure out what I'm going to do for my project. 

Today, I had the day off so I went to lunch, walked over Tower Bridge & made my way to Canada Water to check it out. It started raining so I didn't get to see a whole lot of the area so I'll have to go back soon but it should be a fun project.

Boat Party & Portobello Market

Thursday night our school had a cruise for all the international students, and although it was really long, I got to meet a ton of people and hang out with my new friends. When we got back to the pier, a few of us headed out to a couple pubs in the area.

On Saturday a couple of us headed to Portobello Market, made famous by the movie Notting Hill. The market is split up between antiques, fresh food & veggies, fashion, and second hand goods. We spent the afternoon walking up and down the street & I even made a couple purchases. I finally found a mug, which I've been looking for since I got here & we had to stop for some frozen yogurt.

September 19, 2012

Camden Markets

I guess I'll fill y'all in on my living situation.

I live in Alexander Fleming, which I said is in a really neat area. I guess I'd compare it to the Austin, Texas of London. Anyway, the dorm is split up into 3 buildings which are then split up into 4 separate apartments. Each apartment has either 3 or 4 floors which share bathrooms & kitchens. My flat has 4 girls & 2 guys who are from Japan, Germany, Copenhagen, Switzerland, & Chicago.

I am so excited to tell you all that in the past few days I have spent time with three Americans. This might sound ignorant, but even though I knew London was extremely diverse, I didn't expect to meet so many international students.
I am absolutely loving it.

Today a group of us girls headed to the Camden Markets where you can literally find anything. There is food from what seemed like every country in the world, crafts, jewelery, clothes... like i said, everything. It was great to meet & hang out with some new girls. They are from Germany, France, & Copenhagen so it was fun to hear about their hometowns & friends & how London is different from where they are from.

Here are a few pictures from our afternoon. I had some African food for lunch & even bought a cool ring. I was fading by about 4 so I had to get a coffee so I tried Costa - it's like Starbucks, on every corner.

September 18, 2012

Jamie Oliver & Orientation

The past few days have been a blur but I'll do my best to fill y'all in on whats happening over here. 

Sunday we spent part of the afternoon at fifteen, a Jamie Oliver restaurant with a native from York who told us all about the English culture. The food was incredible so if you have a chance to make it to one of his restaurants, do it! 

Yesterday, we headed to orientation in the afternoon and learned all about the British education system, our classes, and life at University of Westminster. We were told that our term papers will be graded 3 times by 3 different groups of people, so although the structure of the courses are much more relaxed than in the states, more responsibility rests on us as students... so if you know me at all, this might be a little bit of a struggle.

Today, Kathryn & I headed out early to take some pictures, see some sights and explore the city a little bit. We ended up at Covent Garden for lunch, dessert, live music & some shopping.

I had such a blast today, exploring different parts of London & I can't wait to see even more in the next couple weeks/months. I miss y'all & hope everything is going well in the the states. 

Also, add me on skype if you haven't already: samantha.r.wood