Imagine a semester where instead of sitting in the Perry Castaneda Library reading your history textbook, you are actually walking on the ancient ruins of the Colosseum in Rome, Italy.
Now imagine that instead of climbing up Mt. Bonnell in Austin, Texas, you are hiking up Arthur’s Seat Hill in Edinburgh, Scotland. And last, think that instead of going to your typical bars on 6th street to go to another fraternity bar tab, you are attending a Bastille concert at the O2 Academy in London, England.
Sounds pretty spectacular, right?
Junior Tri Delta Lizzie Spence thinks so too as she reminisces on her semester abroad in London, England during Fall 2013. Spence was enrolled in the University College, London with her friend and Tri Delta sister, Haley Senske.
During their time abroad, Spence and Senske not only got to explore the historic city of London, but they also spent weekends traveling to Edinburgh, Scotland; Dublin, Ireland; the Netherlands; Paris, France; Rome and Florence, Italy; Barcelona, Spain; Stockholm, Sweden; and Marrakech, Morocco.
Where to even begin on relaying their adventures? Let’s start with the city they spent the most time in – London. When talking about London, Spence highlighted the large size of the city, and how she believes it would be impossible to see and do everything even if you lived there. To solve this problem, Spence and Senske came up with their own plan to explore the English capital – by pure chance!
“Sometimes we would just pick a random neighborhood and just take the tube there and walk around,” Spence said. “It was really cool because anywhere you get out it’s so cute and pretty and we would just walk around and find stuff.”
Also, Spence commented on the London people, the accents, and of course, the fashion. She described how it seemed as if everyone walking down the streets wore the newest trends. Now, if this isn’t different from the over-sized T-shirts and Nike shorts in Austin, I don’t know what is.
Link to London’s Fashion Week Website
Besides London, Spence’s favorite city that she traveled to was Marrakech, Morocco. Marrakech is the fourth-largest city in this African nation and boasts a unique culture and lifestyle. Spence got to explore ancient palaces and even rode a camel.
“Marrakech was unlike any place I had ever been, which made everything that much more magical,” said Spence on her travel blog documenting her experiences. “I don’t think I would ever be able to pick a favorite [activity] because it was all so amazing.”
Even though Spence was far away from Austin, her family and her friends, she insists that she didn’t feel like she missed out. Well, not entirely. She did say she wished she could have seen Texas beat Oklahoma in the Cotton Bowl. But, hey, there’s always next year!
Obviously, Spence’s experience studying abroad was a positive one. Not only did she get to live in a new city and experience the people, the culture and the landscape, she also got to travel to other destinations for weekend excursions. Also, Spence realized a new path she wants to pursue in the future – travel journalism!
“Before I studied abroad, I didn’t really know what I wanted to do,” Spence said. “But now I have been really focused on any internships with travel agencies, travel websites or travel magazines. I’m an English major, so I figure I will be doing writing of some sort.”
Spence on Arthur’s Seat: “It was one of the most breath-taking views I’ve ever seen!”
For more information on Spence’s adventures, check out her own blog, Walking in Wellies, documenting her experiences.
Also, here is a link for 101 FREE activities to do in Great Britain.
Have you ever been to London? Comment below on any restaurants, activities or landmarks you experienced!