One of the most rewarding parts of my study abroad experience has been traveling different areas in Europe from London. London has four different airports, a national railway service, and countless coach buses to different locations around Europe, making travel very easy.
Since being abroad, I have traveled to the following cities: Edinburgh, Scotland; Majorca, an island off of the east coast of Spain; Barcelona, Spain; Budapest, Hungary; Munich, Germany; and I just finished a trip to Nice, France. Along with these trips, I will be visiting my cousin who is studying in Prague, as well as meeting my mother in Rome to travel around Italy with her after my coursework concludes.
Traveling around Europe is relatively cheap and easy compared to the United States. Cheap airlines like as easyJet or RyanAir provide round-trip flights for sometimes less than $100. The cheapest flights are usually very early in the morning, meaning we have to leave our apartment around 3 am in order to make it to the airport for a 6:30 am flight. Transportation can sometimes be a pain because the Tube does not open until 6 am, but the inconvenience is worth the money that can be saved.
There are many safe and clean student hostels to stay at that are also very cheap, usually less than $20/person each night. Although not as luxurious as staying in a hotel or bed and breakfast, hostels offer maps and information about tourist attractions in the cities, usually offer free WiFi, and some even include breakfast, saving some money on meals.
I have thoroughly enjoyed all the places I have visited thus far. Each place offers different cultures, foods, attractions, and weather. Of all the places I have seen, my two favorite places were Edinburgh and Budapest. I loved Edinburgh because it was so naturally beautiful. The landscape features rolling hills, and I was able to climb up a mountain known as Arthur’s Seat, which offered a magnificent view of the entire city. Budapest was one of my favorite cities because the culture and language was so much different than London’s. There was also beautiful architecture in the city and a lot of attractions to visit that were distinctly Hungarian.
Despite visiting all of these cities, I still wish I had more time (and money) to see more in Europe. London is a wonderful place to live, but I have also enjoyed my time seeing the other places that Europe has to offer. I believe that I speak for all the students in the WSoB program that international trips have been the most fulfilling experiences of our time abroad.