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Arriving and Settling in London

Greetings from London!

The last two days have been an absolute whirlwind! Going to Jack’s Bar Mitzvah in LA and immediately flying direct to London on Air New Zealand. The nine-hour flight quickly flew by as I watched free movies (Bridesmaid, The King’s Speech, Tangled and Something Borrowed) and ate my delicious LA deli food from Joseph’s Deli.

I landed at 10am in London (2am California) and quickly went through customs and claimed my baggage. I arrived at my flat and immediately took a shower and napped from 11am-2pm. Then I attended the first of many orientations, came back, unpacked, went back to sleep at 5pm. Soon, I woke up at 9pm, so confused and jetlagged! What time was it? But I started roaming my floor and catching up with old BU friends and making new friends. Then, went to bed at 11pm.

My room is very cute and just the perfect size for Elle and me! Our room is in the staircase of our floor, so we are away from noise and have a pretty view of the street.

Today I felt like a real person! I awoke bright eyed and free from jet lag! My flat had a fire drill and then we headed to an all-day orientation. I was really impressed with the quality of the speakers and their lecture topics. They spoke about Modern British Culture and Britain and Politics. The speakers reinforced that Brits have stereotypes about Americans (we’re loud and exaggerated) whereas the British are quiet and love to understate and find subtle humor.

At one point, students started sharing their reasons for studying abroad. Trying new foods, traveling or meeting locals. But honestly, I am most excited about interning with Yahoo! in London. Working in Global Communications will continue extend my knowledge and experience working with European media, creating effective messaging to reach Yahoo! users across the EMEA regions or dealing with different crisis. The other PR/Marketing students were placed at a wide variety of internships: L’orel, Disney, Estee Lauder or at club/bar promotions. It seems like no one was placed at in-house tech or a PR agency with tech clients. I am so happy I can continue to work for Yahoo!, but receive a different experience in Europe.

Tonight Kristina and I made our first meal! For those who don’t know, I have never actually cooked full meals for myself. I have had the luxury of relying on BU’s five-star dining, UCLA/Yahoo! summer meals and my family. Never living in an apartment with a kitchen. But tonight Kristina and I made delicious whole-wheat pasta with chicken and caramelized onions. It tasted delicious (though I did miss Yahoo!’s URL’s) and I was proud that I did not starve. I did my first REAL shopping for 66 pounds ($92) milk, OJ, spinach, bell peppers, red onions, chicken, yogurt, granola, whole wheat pasta, oatmeal, balsamic and olive oil. I am determined NOT to eat out at every meal because the exchange rate is incredibly expensive.

Tonight at a pub, I spotted a Brit wearing a YouTube backpack, so I immediately went over and asked if he worked at YouTube. He didn’t work at YouTube, he had just received it at a concert. It really made me miss Silicon Valley and talking tech with strangers. Meeting so many techies this summer helped shape my ideas and form my own opinions, outside of the media’s influence.

My friends and I had a near death experiences crossing the street. Due to age-old traditions of jousting on a horse and holding the joust on your right side, the British drive on the opposite side of the street. So today, we immediately looked left when crossing the street – but the cars are coming on the right side – so we all jumped! By the end of the day the routine kicked it and I looked both ways when crossing the street.

All-in-all it’s been an action-packed two days here in London! Tomorrow I am going on a Thames River Boat trip to Greenwich then to an England-Whales football game! Wednesday, more lectures and book-buying and Thursday I begin my first two classes: Global Promotional Strategies and British Public Relations.

Cheers!

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