A beginner's guide to studying abroad in London As told by a Notre Dame student

Meet Molly Melican

Molly is a Notre Dame student who is participating in the summer program at the London Global Gateway. While exploring one of the largest and most vibrant cities in Europe, she wanted to pass along some tips to help you make the most of your study abroad experience!

#1 The best things in life are free

Explore the parks of London! Some of my favorites include: Hampstead Heath, St. James and Hyde Park. On a sunny day, these are awesome to go to after class and get some reading done or to just hang out.

#2 Get out while you can

It may sound counterintuitive, but get out of the city. Especially in the beginning when most people don’t plan weekend getaways, day trips around England have been one of my favorite experiences thus far. It’s cool to see the less touristy places and to explore more than just the city. Make sure to hike the Seven Sisters, which are some of England’s coastal white cliffs just outside of the town of Seaford. Day trips are a great change of pace from the hustle and bustle of London life. It has allowed me to see the beautiful English countryside.

#3 So many places to eat, so little time

Orsini’s is a great place for lunch because it is right by Fischer Hall. I usually go there to pick up a sandwich and head to a park to eat. The food is great and the workers are awesome. The Eagle and Child in Oxford is fun because of its history - CS Lewis and JRR Tolkien used to hang out there!

#4 Don't get stung by fees

One of the most helpful tips I’ve gotten is that the best place to exchange money for a fair rate is the post office. It’s super easy and quick and you can find them all over the city

#5 Never underestimate the importance of ambience (and caffeine)

Notes café is my favorite off-campus study spot. There are branches in Soho, Trafalgar Square and King’s Cross. The wifi is free and it’s a really awesome atmosphere.

#6 Irish bars are not the only option for a night out in London

Go to Roadhouse for karaoke on Wednesdays. It's always fun, with a live band! If you want a quieter evening, Gordon’s Wine Bar is great. It’s not a traditional bar, but a cool place to hang out with friends, enjoy some wine, cheese and bread.

#7 Theater is life

If you have any interest in theater at all, take advantage of the amazing shows you can see in London. Compared to tickets in the U.S., the shows are super cheap and there’s so many to see that there really is something for everyone. You can get some of the cheapest tickets in Leicester Square for shows that day or the next.

#8 Go explore

The public transportation is incredible here. I would definitely try to master it as soon as possible. The app CityMapper helps you figure out which bus/tube/train to take.

Thanks for the tips, Molly!


Created with images by Luke Stackpoole - "London life" • Lalli - "breakfast blueberries london" • pina messina - "untitled image" • Hello Lightbulb - "Octopus Labs Coffee" • Gordon Williams - "Ending one day and introducing another." • Kilyan Sockalingum - "untitled image"

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