Friday, 16th February 2018 Chinese New Year Celebrations Today marks the first day of the Chinese Lunar New Year and as per tradition, it is a day to be spent with family and friends. After our simple reunion dinner (picture below) and 守岁 (shou sui: staying up late to increase longevity of our parents) the…

Semester Two – Kyran Penny

And just like that, first semester was gone. Four amazing months with amazing people in amazing places. I remember the first time I woke up in Sweden thinking to myself ‘what on earth have you gotten yourself into?’ I didn’t know anybody, I didn’t (and still don’t) speak the language and I certainly didn’t feel…

Being Black and Muslim in London – Rachel Godfrey

Studying in a foreign environment, as exciting as it is, can be a little daunting. For students who identify as members of marginalized groups, transitioning can be even more difficult. As I was preparing to study abroad, I remember hearing that only 5% of Black students travelled abroad, and I found this statistic to be…

What’s It Like Being Queer in London? – Tessa Reading

What is the experience of being queer abroad like? It’s about understanding the nuances of your sexual identity and finding a community for yourself. This is what I learned from my friend Julianna, a junior from Wesleyan University studying at Queen Mary, University of London. In the busy coffee shop on Queen Mary’s campus we…

The Holidays in Manhattan – Shola Lee

The island, to many, is split into three parts: uptown, midtown, and downtown. This isn’t a geographical separation, there aren’t strict borders and the only sign of change between each place is the decreasing numbers on the subway down to South Ferry. However, there is a separation in the atmosphere, one which becomes heightened during…

A semester abroad from studies abroad – Natasha Peters

“I have lived and studied abroad almost my entire life, yet going to Hong Kong was a new adventure for me” When I left London to start my exchange semester in Hong Kong I had no idea that it would so quickly become my favourite place in the world, nor that it would be so…

Small Town Girl Takes Over The Big City [Part 3]

Lights up. A hit to the face from my right. Attempt to escape. No -a hit from the left- I fall to the ground. Attempt to get up but they’ve zoned in on me. One last hit and I’m on the ground…  And scene.  That was my second Broadway debut as an alien in a Western space musical, ‘Written in the…

Studying abroad as a STEM Major – Miriam Jaffe

So you want to study abroad as a STEM major… awesome! I myself was a STEM major (human biology, not too sciency but I’m still under that umbrella), and study abroad was 100% possible with my major, AND my minor (which is theatre, so not applicable to this post, but still). While at Queen Mary,…

Blog 4 – Jaz Manville

Columbia Gay Street Club Cumming Our wobbly stove Harlem brownstones Milkshakes from Tom’s Washington Square Park 4am grilled cheese from JJ’s Skylines – all of them – always Broadway theatre seating plans Being confused by cheerleaders Fayeweather’s juddering elevator Sliding across plastic subway seats Teaching my roommate to cook pasta The wind tunnel along the…

Goodbyes – Kyran Penny

I went to the pub the other day with a few friends of mine, two of whom are spending the year out here in Sweden like me, and one who unfortunately is not. Jack, Joe and I spent a good chunk of our evening discussing how strange it will be returning here in January with…

Winter is Coming – Kyran Penny

Within the first few minutes of speaking to my new flatmates in August, they all had the same question: how cold does it get in the UK? Slightly taken aback by their direct approach, I took a moment to think of my answer, coming up with the rough estimate of ‘it usually hovers around five…

A Love Letter to the East End – Rachel Godfrey

Online research about the East End would have you thinking that the most significant part about it was Jack the Ripper. However, London’s EastEnders and those such as myself who have had the opportunity to live here would most certainly disagree. As I prepare to leave my home of the last three months, I am…

Fall – Jaz Manville

I fall Caryl Churchill is too good at this. I no longer have to imagine the bullet that shatters the back of my skull at Sound Queue 7, by performance three I have to imagine the Starbucks upstairs to remind myself that the unseen gun is disarmed and my fall is chosen. Enacting death. ‘Heart’s…

Friendsgiving – Shola Lee

Thanksgiving. A yearly holiday celebrated across America. Many of my friends went home to their families; my surrogate family and I, however, decided to stay in the city for Friendsgiving. Family traditions are an inherent part of Turkey-Day festivities and ours was no exception. My Thanksgiving Day fittingly commenced with a considerable amount of food;…

Small Town Girl Takes Over The Big City [Part 2] – October

  Breathe in…2…3…4…hold…2…3….Exhale…2…3…4… Hold on, I’m just… 2… 3…4… Meditating… 2… 3… 4… Oh boy, it started a month and a bit in and now I’ve turned into some pretentious artist. I’m so far up in the clouds I turn to meditation to ground me. Not very convinced by that statement? Fine. It must be…

Travelling – Kyran Penny

I am a very lucky person. Everything I have achieved, everywhere I have been and all the opportunities that have come my way are all the result of the hard work of my parents. I could not have asked for anything more from them. One thing which I credit them for however, is their insistence…

Homecoming – Shola Lee

In America, Homecoming is a commonality, a rite of passage that occurs in early autumn and welcomes back alumni and current students to their respective schools. True to its name, the event is a celebration of returning: to your school, to your dorm, to your friends that you parted from during the summer. While the…

Broadway – Jaz Manville

A queue stretches along the carriage hardened pathway that curls from Mother Goose to Samuel F B Morse. The drizzle reminds me of home but does little to dampen the expectant crowd’s enthusiasm. Organisers almost skip along the line collecting waves, quotes and cheers. Eventually, the queue begins to move forward – this is the…

For the Student Activist abroad – Rachel Godfrey

By January of my sophomore year, I was feeling emotionally and physically drained. It was almost as if all of the energy I had mustered over a lifetime had been sucked out of me by my academic and social situations, as well the political climate. I had been working over twenty hours a week, spending…

Small Town Girl Takes Over the Big City [Part 2] – September

New York. Showtime. Bright Lights. Spinning. Times Square. And the smell of pie tickles my senses… wait, what!? Pie? You bet, my very first Broadway show and the auditorium smells of pie. I’m at the matinee viewing of ‘Waitress’. A new modern, flashy and female empowering musical. And then –flip the switch- I find myself…

Things I miss about London – Miriam Jaffe

I left London mid-June, and every day since then has been a constant reminder that I’m not there. I’m in my final semester of university right now, and I can honestly say that I always come back to the fact that I want to be back in London. I miss it. I miss the bustle…

5 Budgeting Musts for Your First Week in London

London is known as one of the most expensive cities in the world, and coming abroad for the first time can leave you feeling major sticker shock! Especially because the pound to dollar exchange rate is only £0.75 for $1. The best option is to come with a few pounds already in your pocket and…

Expectation vs Reality -Kyran Penny

Sweden was not my first choice destination to spend my year abroad. Prior to receiving my offer to come to Uppsala University, I was adamant that I would be studying in Berlin, despite the few places on offer and the high competition for those places. Having already visited Germany and Berlin, as well as lived…

A (Wednes)day in the life at Scripps

Hello again! When I wrote about readjusting to life at Scripps, I promised to write something about what one of my typical days may look like, and as promised, here it is! My days vary in busyness, but Wednesdays are my busiest, and most varied days class-wise. I feel like walking around the campus here…

A new normal – Jasmina Manville

This is repetition, a new normal, and I love it. Each revolution persuades me, certain as a clock, that I am at home here.  At the airport, constantly checking my back pocket for my passport is second nature. In the yellow taxi from JFK into the city, my eyes swivel from window to window, obsessed…

Studying Abroad at University of Texas – Danial Naqvi

My name is Danial Naqvi and I should be a second-year Human Geography student at QMUL. I say that ‘I should be’, because although for all intents and purposes, I am; I’m currently sitting in the United States of America, in Austin, Texas to be precise. Why? I’m on a study abroad semester at the…

Small Town Girl Takes Over The Big City [Part 2]

Small Town Girl Takes Over The Big City Part 2.[1] Brunette. Svelte. 5’4. And we’ll keep it at that. For now, all that’s important to know is that I’m embarking on this amazing new journey. A journey that I’d like to take you on as I conquer the Big Apple. I’m an idealist and the…

Learning – Kyran Penny

It’s easy to forget sometimes that I am here to study. The social side to university is always great fun no matter where you are and I know that when this year is over, most of my fondest memories will be of the times outside the classroom. However, one of the main reasons why I…

Lanterns and Lightening Bugs – Shola Lee

Once a year Morningside Park and Columbia’s campus is illuminated by a procession of handcrafted lanterns. The tradition is five years old and offers a quiet, phosphorescent oasis amidst busy city life. Morningside Lights has been running for six years, each annual event bearing a different theme but pertaining a communal spirit that, like the…

Moving and Settling- Kyran Penny

Waking up for the first time in a new country and realising that you’re going to be there for the next nine months conjures a strange mix of emotions. Excitement, confusion and nervousness immediately springs to mind. My flight out to Sweden was at 5:40am on 18th August. I was accompanied by my parents, who…

Semester Recap – Elizabeth in England

Elizabeth has been studying at QMUL on the Gilman Scholarship Programme and is from University of Pennsylvania. You can find out more about the Gilman Scholarship Programme for study abroad here. Watch more of Elizabeth’s videos!

American College Life Revisited – Miriam Jaffe

I recently started school up again at my home institute of Scripps College for my senior year (exciting, yes, but also terrifying). I was welcomed back with continuous blazing heat (I’m convinced part of me permanently melted off in my first week), but also with many, many warm embraces. I thought it would be weird…

Arriving in New York – Shola Lee

I spent all summer wondering what life would be like in New York; the city is so infamous that before you arrive there’s an innate sense of familiarity. I researched: restaurants, museums and societies, I wanted to see and do everything. During the months leading up to my arrival I had concocted this romanticised version…

Staying in Touch with Abroad Friends – Carly Noah

  It seems like almost an entire eternity ago when I left Queen Mary, rolling my oversized suitcase out of the blue gates for the final time, waving goodbye to the campus I came to call home for a semester. Along with leaving London, my flatmates, and so many of my favorite places within the…

Defining Home – Miriam Jaffe

According to the Oxford English Dictionary, home is a noun, and defined as “the place where one lives permanently, especially as a member of a family or household.“ It implies permanent residence, and yet, it’s not always used in relation to total, permanent residence. Within a couple of months of being in London, I was…

“Studying” Abroad

  I received a final copy of my transcript from Queen Mary this week, which prompted a bit of reflection of my academic time abroad. While it is very common for the emphasis on a semester abroad to be placed on travel, food and other priceless experiences, the time I spent in the classroom at…

Favourite things about London – Elizabeth Camarillo Gutierrez

Meet Gilman Scholar Elizabeth Camarillo Gutierrez. Elizabeth is studying at QMUL under the Gilman Scholarship Programme and is blogging along the way!  You can also follow Elizabeth’s blogging journey on the Gilman Global Experience Blog. Find out more about the Gilman Scholarship Programme here and thanks to Gilman for sharing this content!

Lasting benefits of studying abroad – Carly Noah

I began to seriously consider studying abroad the summer before my third year of University. I had always told myself that I would study abroad, but in a very idealistic sense. In reality, I knew very little about international travel or the practicalities and logistics of becoming a student in another country. While my parents…

A year abroad in London

  As I near the end of my study abroad experience, I’ve been reflecting on all the amazing things I’ve seen, done, or experienced in my time here. Since arriving in September, I’ve been beyond lucky in what I’ve been able to do and I like to think that I was meant to be in…

Miriam and Chloe’s Podcast

Part 4: ‘Is study abroad worth it?’ Click here to listen  Part 3: ‘Cost of studying abroad and budgeting’ Click here to listen  Part 2: ‘The reality of studying abroad and exploring London’ Click here to listen  Part 1: ‘Settling into life at QMUL & making friends’ Click here to listen      You can…

How to Articulate “Abroad” – Carly Noah

Over the course of the past month, I have made the transition from my semester in London back to life in the United States. Although I was originally quite sad to be leaving London and all of the friends I made over the course of the past semester, I was excited to see my friends…

3 things to do before leaving London! – by Carly Noah

With less than a week to spend in London, it is finally hitting me that before I know it, I will be back in the Midwest, miles and miles away from the city I have come to call home for the past five months. No longer will I be in walking distance of the tube,…

British-isms – Miriam Frances Jaffe

Swearing, and other British-isms As I near the end of my year in London, I thought I would write up some of the things that make London (and the UK) so quintessentially British… Obviously, I’m not the expert, and these are just my experiences, but don’t get me wrong, I love London and everything about…

Transition Expectations: London to Michigan – Carly Ann Noah

After having spent the past four-and-a-half months traveling around the UK and Europe, one could definitely come to the conclusion that I have been living a life of dreams. I am beyond grateful for the opportunity to have traveled so extensively and calling London my home has been such a pleasure in itself. With all…

A day in the life of a Gilman Scholar – Elizabeth in England

Meet Gilman Scholar Elizabeth Camarillo Gutierrez. Elizabeth is studying at QMUL under the Gilman Scholarship Programme and is blogging along the way! Here is Elizabeth’s fist video blog! You can also follow Elizabeth’s blogging journey on the Gilman Global Experience Blog. Find out more about the Gilman Scholarship Programme here.

Making the most of 24 hours in Iceland – by Carly Ann Noah

Ever since I saw an image of the Blue Lagoon, located in Reykjavik, Iceland, I knew that it was a place that I had to visit at some point in my lifetime. When I came abroad, I hoped that a trip to Iceland would be in my travel itinerary, but wasn’t sure if other people…

A Day in the Life at QMUL – Carly Ann Noah

When one thinks of “study abroad”, glamorous Instagram pictures or scenic Facebook albums usually come to mind. Prior to coming to London, I had the idea that I would be traveling almost every weekend, utilizing the location of London in order to obtain the cheapest flights possible to other countries in the U.K and the…

What to Expect While Adjusting to QMUL – Carly Ann Noah

It’s hard to believe, but more than two months ago I had just arrived in London from Michigan. Stepping off the plane and entering Heathrow, I was a confused, dazed, jet-lagged, about to embark on a semester unlike anything I had experienced before. While I knew the basics about study abroad—made possible by my friends’…