Studying Abroad in London: Live Like a Local

June 7, 2024
studying abroad in london

API would like to introduce you to Emily Kane, an API Ambassador who studied abroad in London, England. API Ambassadors are students who go on to share their stories upon their return from their API experiential learning programs abroad. Emily shared the following insights from her journey, describing the opportunities to live like a local. 

During the Spring of 2023, I had the incredible opportunity to study in London through the API FSU London Study Centre Program. This experience was unique, especially in terms of the living accommodations, which played a significant role in shaping my overall adventure in London.

Exceptional Living Accomodations

Unlike the typical FSU London Study Centre students, I lived in the IQ Student Accommodation, arranged by API specifically for international students. This setup was a dream! I had the luxury of my own room and bathroom, and I shared a kitchen and common room with a few flatmates. Having my own private space was invaluable. It allowed me to decompress, focus on my studies, and enjoy my own company. I believe the extra space also helped with avoiding any roommate conflict, we all cohabitated peacefully. 

Living in IQ Student Accommodation also gave me a unique sense of independence. While I was friendly with my flatmates, we mostly lived independently of each other. My closest friends lived in the same building but on different floors, which was perfect—we could hang out when we wanted but still had our own space.

Embracing Local Life

One of the greatest aspects of living in this accommodation was the opportunity to immerse myself in London life beyond the typical student bubble. Many FSU students stayed within their familiar neighborhood, but I ventured out and explored the city extensively. My neighborhood, Tufnell Park, wasn’t a tourist hotspot, which allowed me to experience London like a true local.

I quickly became a regular at my favorite local spots, especially the Spaghetti House, a charming mom-and-pop Italian restaurant. I went there so often that the staff recognized me and treated me like family. Their shrimp and avocado dish with a unique dressing was my favorite, and I’ve been trying to recreate it ever since returning home. This sense of belonging and familiarity made my stay in London truly special.

studying abroad in london

Building Friendships and Community

The lounge in our building was a central hub for socializing and studying. My friends and I would gather there once a week to play card games, plan trips around Europe, and work on our assignments. One particularly memorable night, we planned a trip to France. Initially, we aimed for the quaint town of Sancerre, known for its wine and picturesque scenery. However, due to travel complications during Easter weekend, we ended up choosing Nice instead. The trip was wonderful, but we still fondly reminisce about our dream of visiting Sancerre.

These moments of camaraderie and shared dreams made my experience richer and more meaningful. It wasn’t just about the places we visited but the bonds we formed and the memories we created together.

Navigating the City Like a Local

Living in Tufnell Park also meant I had to master London’s public transportation system. This independence gave me the confidence to explore the city thoroughly. I never got lost, and each journey became an adventure in itself. I discovered hidden gems, from cozy cafes to bustling markets, and truly felt like a part of the city.

My regular visits to local pubs were another highlight. Unlike the loud clubs and bars I was used to, London’s pubs offered a cozy, community-oriented atmosphere that I loved. My friends and I would go for quiz nights or just to unwind, enjoying the relaxed and friendly environment.

Final Reflections

My time in London with the API FSU London Study Centre Program was transformative. The unique living accommodations not only provided comfort and independence but also encouraged me to explore and embrace the local culture. The friendships I built, the places I discovered, and the sense of community I felt made this experience unforgettable.

I highly recommend this program to anyone considering studying abroad. It offers a perfect blend of academic rigor, cultural immersion, and personal growth. My experience in London was everything I hoped for and more, leaving me with cherished memories and a longing to return.

It’s Your Turn to Go Abroad!

Inspired by Emily’s memories living in London? It may be time for your own international adventure. For more information about studying or interning abroad in locations across the globe, explore more on our website!


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