Spring semester of freshman year, 40 students and I left from Newark International Airport and landed in London Heathrow. Under the Arcadia FYSAE program, we went on an incredible adventure. We explored the extraordinary English metropolis—awed by Big Ben, overwhelmed by the movement on the Tube, and wooed by its endearing accents. London changed us.
Two years later, I am a junior and I’m here in London once again. My dad asked me why I chose to come back to London again. I could have gone anywhere else—Italy, Australia, Scotland, Spain, South Africa. I could have chosen a new adventure, a new city. Why London?
Because it’s a media haven
London is one of the top cities in the English-speaking world to study media. As a wannabe journalist, I knew that London is the ideal place to get connected with the industry. You have incredible broadcast news from BBC and Sky TV, and top-notch reporting from newspapers like the Guardian, Times, Independent, Telegraph, and Sun.
While in London, you’ll notice immediately that people still read the newspaper. Many people still choose to pick up a newspaper for their daily morning commute. Not only is London the capital of journalism, but it’s the center of fashion, music, movies, TV, radio, PR, and marketing, too.
Because the University of Westminster rocks
And if you want to study media, the University of Westminster at Harrow campus is the place to do it. I’ve been on campus for almost a month and I can tell you that the media connections are impressive. I found out from an RA that professors have incredible connections in the industry and often recommend students for internships. Even the students are well connected.
On campus, many students get involved in Smoke Media, a student-run organization that takes charge of the radio, TV station, and magazine. I’m really excited to get involved with this club. (Read about my experience doing the news with the club: “On Air in 5: Training for University of Westminster’s Smoke TV.”)
Because I can travel around Europe
And if you ever wanted to travel around, London is close to mainland Europe. Exploring the diverse regions of Europe was a great excuse for me to practice my travel writing. During my freshman year I traveled to Paris, Barcelona, and Amsterdam using the cheap airlines EasyJet and Ryanair and Coach buses. This year I plan on visiting my sister in Tour, France and my hometown friend studying in Granada, Spain.
Also, one of the benefits of going to Arcadia is that you’ll have friends studying all over the world. So if you are traveling on the cheap side, rather than staying at a hostel you can crash your friends’ couches.
Because of its diversity
When walking around in London, you’ll hear several different languages and accents. Even in class I have met people from all over the world—Venezuela, Switzerland, Australia, Italy, Bulgaria, China, South Korea. It won’t be long before you find yourself in a discussion about U.S. politics with several other internationals. It’s a strange but flattering experience to represent your country in these talks. Here in London, you can truly understand what it means to be an international citizen.