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Katrina


Member

Posted Fri May 15th, 2009 6:34am Post subject: Study Abroad... HELP! :)
Okay, so, in about a month, I shall embark on my study abroad experience in... London! I'll be there for a couple of months, and I don't really know anyone who's even been there, so while I am hardcore excited, I'm also hardcore nervous.

That being said, I have a couple of specific questions, but I'm also open to whatever advice any of you guys want to give me in regards to what I should do, what I absolutely shouldn't do, what I have to see, etc.
As for specific issues (beware, STUPID QUESTIONS AHEAD!):
1. We don't have people meeting us at the airport, so my biggest fear is getting stranded there and spending seven weeks in a Heathrow bathroom. They recommend that we take the Heathrow Express to Paddington and take a cab from there because it's cheapest. To get a cab, all I have to do is, like, stick my arm out, right? There's no special insider way to do it (I told you the questions would be idiotic X-D)?
2. I'm a big tipper by nature, and they say to tip cab drivers, "a few pounds," but how much is that? 15%?

Again, I'll be grateful for any and all info/advice y'all have, and, um, as I don't know anyone there, anyonewanttohangout?... I promise I'm not a creeper... :-//

Open to suggestions as to what my sig should consist of...

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exoskeleton


Member

Posted Fri May 15th, 2009 7:39am Post subject: Study Abroad... HELP! :)
cool! I have no advice, but that sounds like it's going to be really fun! my parents think I should study abroad in England, but I don't feel like it. I'd love to take a trip there sometime though.

sockdolager.

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Help


Member

Posted Fri May 15th, 2009 11:45am Post subject: Study Abroad... HELP! :)
Em, I live the other end of the country but I've been to London a few times.
You can just stick your arm right out for a cab/taxi or stand and wait at a taxi rank, they wont be hard to miss or find.
As for tipping, I think generally it depends how much your ride is, I find it easier to just round it up so say from work to home is £16 I say just make it £20.
I think things are generally a bit more expensive in London though.
Hope you have fun

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Maxx England


Member

Posted Fri May 15th, 2009 1:18pm Post subject: Study Abroad... HELP! :)
Small but important tip here: when you go to cross a road, the most immediate risk is from your right. Please be aware of that. I nearly got run over in Denmark, looking the wrong way for a country that can't drive on the proper side of the road.

The only way is forward. Now where's the bar?

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Fryphile


Member *

Posted Fri May 15th, 2009 2:42pm Post subject: Study Abroad... HELP! :)
Small but important tip here: when you go to cross a road, the most immediate risk is from your right. Please be aware of that. I nearly got run over in Denmark, looking the wrong way for a country that can't drive on the proper side of the road.

True dat. Fortunately there are "Look left/right" signs on the crosswalks. LIFE SAVERS.

When I went Londoning last year, I took the Heathrow Connect to Paddington. It was cheaper, but it didn't really have luggage stowage (that I could see anyway) so I hogged a couple seats for my bags. Being a girl, I'm sure you'll have 75 bags of luggage, right I bought my ticket for it at Heathrow at an ATMish kiosky thing.

I think of myself as someone who is filled with love, whose only purpose in life was to achieve love. - Stephen Fry

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andrealein


Member

Posted Fri May 15th, 2009 6:36pm Post subject: Study Abroad... HELP! :)
Again, I'll be grateful for any and all info/advice y'all have, and, um, as I don't know anyone there, anyonewanttohangout?... I promise I'm not a creeper... :-//
I'm not in England, so hanging out should be difficult. But as long as you don't pursue a strict plan of keeping to yourself you'll meet loads of people in no time. I've been abroad last semester and after a few days I knew all (yeah, maybe not all) the exchange students, although I wasn't even in the exchange program, and the friends of my flatmates. And I don't make friends easily. So that shouldn't be a problem.
Apart from that: Ask people if you're not sure about something. At first I felt a little uncomfortable about it, but it helps a lot. Better too ask too much than going in the wrong direction or something like that.
Can't tell you much about London. I've been there for a few times, but only as a tourist. I got a taxi by waving, can't remember how much I tipped though, probably not the right amount

Oh, and have fun!! I'm jealous.

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Laur1991


Member

Posted Fri May 15th, 2009 9:44pm Post subject: Study Abroad... HELP! :)
I can't describe to you how jealous I am.
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PamJH


Member

Posted Fri May 15th, 2009 10:46pm Post subject: Study Abroad... HELP! :)
I've only been to London once, so therefore can only give you tourist's view. But whenever I needed help or got lost, I asked questions. No one ever declined to help me. So I say, if in doubt, just ask.


On another note, perhaps you'll start a thread when you're there, chronicling your adventures for us.

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Gertrude Susanne


Member

Posted Sat May 16th, 2009 6:20am Post subject: Study Abroad... HELP! :)
I used to take a cab from Gerrards Cross to Heathrow (about half an hour´s drive) which cost me 28 GBP and I usually rounded it up to 30 quid. Drivers seemed to be happy with this 2 GBP tip (and I used that cab company regularly, so I would have noticed if they had not been X-D )

Have you ever considered taking a coach into London (from the Central Bus Station at Terminal 2). You could choose from a good selection of London links. And I reckon they are cheaper than the Heathrow Express (= about 18 GBP for a single ticket); moreover drivers will help you with your luggage.

Alternatively, I am sure there are taxi ranks at all the terminals.

Have a great time in the UK ! (you may get addicted and want to go back thereafter.... I do that twice a year or else I´d perish)

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whatthefry


Member

Posted Sat May 16th, 2009 2:29pm Post subject: Study Abroad... HELP! :)
I have no advices whatsoever, as I live in Spain, but I really want to say that I'm utterly jealous right now. After this summer I'll be able to choose a place to go to on Erasmus on the next year. I'd love to go to Scotland (I think part of my soul was born there and weirldy it ended up in my body in this coutry), or to Ireland if there are no Unis in Scotland available... But I'll have to wait one whole year for Christ's sake!

One question: Why do you go just two months? If I go, I'll be there for the whole year.

Marjorie may've won the war, but she hasn't won the battle. / Dammit John, you're up to something! I've seen that look before. / You're damn right, I'm up to something. / Dammit! / What? / What are you up to? / Something. I'm up to something.

*icon by lj user ooh_la

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Maxx England


Member

Posted Sat May 16th, 2009 6:05pm Post subject: Study Abroad... HELP! :)
Britain's attitude to food preparation over the years has had a less than 5 star reputation. It'll help perhaps if previous sufferers can give their advice on finding or avoiding things?

If you're homesick, you could go to a MuckDonald's, then you'd just be sick of course. An Asian curry house with a first generation cook is quite nice, some of it is probably close to Mexican in terms of hot sauces etc. Chinese, I've never got on with anything Chinese I ever tried, so I can't give any advice there.

Chip shop pies: a peculiar delicacy, often damp and chewy but burnt pastry on the outside, a lukewarm brown sludge of gravy and unidentifiable granules on the inside. Avoid unless you can be reasonably sure they're recent and have been kept properly hot.

Boiler, you're not far from the seaside anywhere in Britain, if you get a sunny day and the time, try and get to one of the towns.

If you want a real bipolar treat, go to Romney, get on the narrow gauge railway and go down to Dungeness. There's a nuclear power station looming over a landscape of shingle with odd plants on it that look like rubber cabbages, and a village of shacks made from all sorts of improbable materials in all sorts of improbable styles. The wind blows incessantly, the waves crash incessantly, all in all, it's a perfect setting for one of those gloomy novels where two miseries spend their lives scraping each other's souls raw.

The only way is forward. Now where's the bar?

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