COLA Study Abroad Tips- Morgan Fay- London

2416633571_063011c67b_zCredit: Ewan Munro

Places to eat:

  1. Natural Kitchen: A little on the pricier side, but the most delicious restaurant, take-away, deli style food place. Go here for healthy salads, smoothies and snacks. If you like yummy, organic foods, go here!- pictured above
  2. Prêt à Manger: Inexpensive and delicious! Go here for a quick take-away meal. Salads, wraps, toasties (grilled sandwiches) coffees, teas, and treats. A must when in London.
  3. Yauatcha: For a night out in Soho, go here for the BEST dim sum. Very responsibly priced and so so good. Get the prawn cheung fun and a Tokyo cooler to drink. You won’t regret it.

Places to go

  1. Regents Park! Explore the beautiful park that surrounds the school. Sometimes you feel like you need to leave the park to go out and explore the rest of the city, but the park is gorgeous and the fact that Regents is right in the middle of it is wonderful. Go see the sun rise/set at Primrose Hill and have a picnic in the park.
  2. Marylebone High Street: Not even a 10-minute walk from Regents, Marylebone High St is full of luxurious stores and restaurants (including Natural Kitchen and a Prêt!) Window shop your way down the streets and stop for a coffee or teatime at one of the many cafes.
  3. Borough Market: If you love food (which I do) go to Borough Market on the weekend. And go on an empty stomach! The market is filled with all sorts of delicious foods and the best part: free samples! No need to actually buy anything (even though you should totally get lunch from one of the carts), you can just walk around sampling breads, oils, cheeses and treats all day.

8560555588_c1f48033db_zCredit: Karen Bryan

Events to attend

  1. The theatre: I took a Musical Theatre course which allowed me to attend several shows, but even if you don’t take a class, go to a show! Theatre is a huge deal in London and there are so many different types of shows and theatres, you’re bond to find something you like.- pictured above
  2. Live Music: Whether you go to an actual concert or to a club that has live music playing, there’s something for everybody in London. Many pubs and clubs feature different bands each night so check online before you go and see if it’s a group you like or a genre you like, or just go and try something new!
  3. High Tea: While not an “official” event, it’s still something you should attend. High Tea is a wonderful British tradition. You can go the posh route, and go someplace incredibly fancy where you have to dress up (I recommend Hotel Café Royal) or someplace more causal yet equally delicious (Muriel’s Soho). When in London, go to High Tea!

Stores/shops to go to

  1. Primark: Cute, trendy, cheap clothing. My favorite thing to do was to look at all the glamorous Londoners dressed in their fashionable, expensive clothes, then go to Primark and try to replicate their styles-for cheap! Be warned: the Primark on Oxford St is a free-for-all. Dress in layers, bring water to hydrate and go during off hours (aka not right after school/work gets out). You’ll thank me later.
  2. Waitrose: For cheap snacks or an easy take-away meal, Waitrose is a food store located on Marylebone High St. They have a bunch of prepared meals and already sliced fruit; perfect for that picnic you’re going to have in the Park!
  3. Daunt Books: The most beautiful bookstore, located on Marylebone High St. Just go to wander around and get lost in the books.

5829435457_97acbddaec_zCredit: London Attractions Guide

Transportation tips

  1. Take the Tube! Not only is the Tube an incredibly convenient way to get around, it’s a great place to observe Londoners in action. You can learn a lot about British culture from the Tube.- pictured above
  2. Know how to get to/from places BEFORE you go out at night. This is especially important if you don’t have an international phone plan with wifi. You can easily look up the Tube stops or bus number you need before you go out and then take a screenshot of it. This will stop you from taking a (expensive) cab ride back to school.
  3. Walk places! Even though London has some of the best public transportation, walking is a great way to get to know the city and to see all of the beauty it holds.

Random things to know

  1. “You alright?” is the British equivalent of “How’re you?/ “How’s it going?” People will say it everywhere you go (stores, classroom, pubs etc) Not a cause for concern, just a commonplace phrase.
  2. Mind the queue! British people love to line up for things, which is actually incredibly helpful. But that means “no cutsies” totally applies. Quickest way to irritate a Brit: cut the queue.
  3. Public Healthcare is free aka ambulances are free aka if something trivial happens and you think you maybe want to call an ambulance, you probably don’t! Just take a cab or an Uber because the ambulance will take a very long time to get there if it isn’t an extreme emergency.