I just finished my first year in the Dedman School of Law evening program. I am reporting from Oxford, England, where I am attending the SMU study abroad program. I am studying under Professor Peter Winship, taking a Comparative Law: International Sales course and a tutorial over Human Rights. (Nichole’s blog is also posted on the Law School site.)
Other entries will tell more about class life and day-to-day stuff here at Oxford, but this first entry will be just a quick recap of the trip thus far. I’ve been here for exactly one week, and I believe I have learned some valuable lessons. I’ll start out with some helpful tips for anyone thinking about studying abroad, but hasn’t yet. A list of Dos and Don’ts, if I may!
The below list of Dos and Don’ts span my first week in England.
Do: Start packing way before the day you are supposed to leave.
Don’t: Think you’ll have plenty of time to get everything done before you go just because your flight isn’t until 9:05p.m.
Do: Sleep on the plane.
Don’t: Assume that just because you and your travel buddy booked your flights at the same time, with the same flight number and same departure times that the flight is actually on the same day.
Do: Get a stamp in your passport for every country you visit.
Don’t: Use a taxi at any point. The public transportation over here is efficient, affordable and fast!
Do: Take a cab from the airport to your first destination. Believe me… it is worth the extra money with all of your luggage.
Don’t: Try to do it all in one day. Take your time, enjoy the sights, take lots of pictures.
Do: See everything in London – the British Museum, the National Gallery, Trafalgar Square, Westminster Abby, Westminster Cathedral, St. Paul’s Cathedral, Buckingham Palace, the Changing of the Guard, Notting Hill, the Globe Theatre, Big Ben, London Bridge, the Tower of London, Parliament, the London Eye, etc., etc., etc.
Don’t: Think you are going to find food at restaurants past about 9 p.m.; things shut down early.
Do: Try a hotdog from the vendor outside the British Museum. It’s an awesome lunch and only 2.5 pounds! May be the best lunch I had so far.
Don’t: Get there right on time for the Changing of the Guard, it happens every day at 11:30 a.m., but if you get there on time, you’re actually late, there will be TONS of people and you won’t be able to see anything. Be safe, get there early,and just walk around and take pics while you wait.
Do: Go to Westminster Abbey on Sunday and attend a service.
Don’t: Take the bus to the Victoria Bus Station if your hotel is in East London. I may have fibbed earlier – a taxi would have been appropriate here!
Don’t: Be late to the first day of class because you failed to check that your clock was set to the correct time!
Do: Remember that the tube/train stops running at 11:30 p.m. on weeknights, and long bus rides with slightly intoxicated riders = no fun.
Don’t: Expect to be able to take pictures while inside Westminster Abbey on Sunday; go for the service, and go back for the tourist attraction some other time.
Do: Try to make the guards laugh and take pics. They probably don’t like it, but hey, you’re an American… they may not like you anyway!
I hope you enjoy it, and will give more frequent updates now that I have Internet. Signing off from the UK!