student blog

Angelique's picture

THE END IS NEAR...

I see it! I see it! It's the finishing line. Three years has gone by so quickly.  I feel like London has become my 'home away from home.' A bitter sweet moment as I think of returning to the Seychelles and leaving my life here behind.

As the months draw near, every so often a tear rolls off my cheek as I think of this part of my life coming to an end. In 2009, it felt like I would be embarking on the longest journey of achievement ever and three years down the line, it does not feel long enough. Where has the time gone by? I feel sad as I think of leaving my friends, my 'chosen' siblings and the city of lights.

No Regrets

It must be said though, I have no regrets. I have met people who have made me laugh to tears, smile to my ears and love without boundaries. The same people I now have to leave behind as each of us follow our own paths. Saying Goodbye is indeed the hardest word. Although, I will remember them forever for making this journey bearable and memorable. I can only hope we keep in touch.

Maria's picture

My Favourite Things in London

London has so much to offer that it is hard to choose the very best. However, after thinking long and hard, I have come up with a list of my favorite places and things to see and do in the city:

- Coffee Shop: The Natural Kitchen (City, EC4 and Marylebone, W1)

- Bookstore: Daunt Books (Marylebone, W1 and others)

- Park: Regent's Park 

- Museum: Science Museum (South Kensington, SW7)

- Market: Camden

- Season: Spring

- Theatre Venue: Royal Albert Hall (South Kensington, SW7)

- Musical: The Phantom of the Opera (Her Majesty's Theatre, SW1)

- Gym: Regent's Gym (Great Portland Street, W1)

Maria's picture

A Great British Tradition

In March this year Londoners flocked to the Thames on a a typically grey Saturday afternoon in the capital. The tranquility of Putney Bridge, with its churches uniquely facing each other from opposite banks, was disturbed by groups of friends and families with babies rushing to get a good spot along the river. This was the 157th Varsity Boat Race disputed annually by Oxford and Cambridge Universities, a tradition that only the two World Wars have been able to disrupt.

Maria's picture

The National Archives

Of the places where I conducted research in preparation for my undergraduate thesis, the National Archives in London significantly surpasses the rest in terms of resources, efficiency, and organization. Here you can find documents relevant to military, family history, maritime, diplomatic, political and colonial queries. This hidden gem is surprisingly neglected by university students, as I discovered during those long summer days when I was often the youngest visitor in the reading rooms.

I came to love my routine. Every day, at the earliest hour, I would travel on the District Line to Richmond, a 40-minute ride from Central London. I would get off at the Kew Gardens station and walk for ten minutes past quaint suburban streets until I saw the former World War I hospital, surrounded by fountains and flowers. On the first floor, I would pass the Talks Room, where first-time visitors can attend an information session about navigating the building and conducting research. Near the cafeteria, the same locker took my backpack, while my laptop, digital camera and reader's ticket came with me upstairs to the Document Reading Room.

Maria's picture

A Beautiful Day in Cambridge

A few months ago I participated in an International Students House Travel Club day trip to Cambridge. After a short minivan ride from London, our group of 13 international students arrived to a quaint little city dominated by gothic and red-brick university buildings. There were many churches, cozy coffeeshops, parked bikes everywhere and quiet courtyards full of the greenest grass and autumn flowers. For students, this was heaven.

Our first stop was the main street in front of King's College (pictured above). Our guide gave us about an hour to explore our surroundings before the official tour started.

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