9/3 – 9/7 Taking London By Storm…the first week!
So after a nine and a half hour flight, which wasn’t bad at all, myself and two others from Houston arrived at Heathrow airport around 10am London time. We were greeted by a representative from AIFS and we joined two other girls who were also doing the program. We were driven to Atlantic House, and after a couple wrong turns down some very narrow roads, we soon arrived and were so pleasantly greeted by the staff. We were given our “Welcome Packets” with ID cards, our room assignments and several other helpful documents on life in Kensington. I am staying at the Ambassador House, which is breathtakingly stunning. To walk down Queen’s Gate Terrace through the tall, white, vintage buildings seems like a dream. There were multiple times where I had to pinch myself to make sure this was real life. Going up to room 311 is quite a hike, up a lot of stairs, but definitely worth it once you see the view out our window. I room with two other girls and they’re awesome! So far we get along great!
After we brought our stuff up to the rooms (rather our stuff was brought up for us) we freshened up and went on a little walk/journey to find a place for towels. We tried TK Maxx but no such luck, so then we went to Mark’s and Spencer’s, similar to a Macy’s, and found some nice towels. We then ventured to a Boots, which is similar to a CVS or a Walgreens in America. There we bought some necessities such as shampoo, soap, and Red Bulls (we were all hitting a wall and hitting it fast!).
Throughout Orientation Week we have done so many fantastic things through AIFS! We started off by doing a bus tour of London with everyone and got to see amazing sights like Buckingham Palace along with history and insights about the city from our tour guide. We went on a boat cruise along the Thames; it was so much fun to float and dance the night away with all of our new friends! And the London Eye was an experience in itself, so incredible to see the city all lit up in a magnificent array of colors. To end orientation week, we began with a tour of Chelsea Stadium and then on a fun Beatles Tour! It was a crazy, jam-packed, awesome and adventurous week! I have picked up on a couple things, but still have so much to experience and learn! I cannot wait to see what else London has in store!