Liam London

The Daily Collegian Columnist Liam Wichser spent his first day in London. 

Today marks one week since I arrived in London. So far, the experience has left me with no regrets about my decision to study abroad for this spring semester.

My two friends from Penn State and I left from the Philadelphia International Airport the night of Jan. 8, arriving in London early the next day. 

While I don’t enjoy flying, the just-over-six-hour flight wasn’t too bad thanks to melatonin and the movie “Step Brothers” (generic, I know). 

Getting through Heathrow was fairly quick, and we had no trouble finding our driver who took us to our housing in Kentish Town — about an hour from the airport.

Orientation for our program began just hours after we arrived. However, it didn't blend well with the jet lag, as I tried my best to stay awake. The first few nights of sleep weren’t easy, as I adjusted to the time change and the rock-hard mattress in my room.

To be honest, there was a brief moment when I woke up during the first night and wondered how on Earth I was going to live in another country for four months.

If you had told me a year ago I’d be living in London for a semester, I would’ve laughed in your face and thought you were crazy. 

However, as soon as day two of the orientation began, all of my doubts went out the window.

We slowly began to figure out how the town worked. From taking our first underground tube ride to trying fish and chips for the first time, each day here has made me feel more excited and happy to be in London.  

From the pubs to the amazing architecture, this place has no shortage of things to offer.

My favorite day here so far was easily Friday, as we traveled to the heart of London for a tour of the city. We got to see some of London’s most historic sights such as Big Ben, St Paul’s Cathedral, the London Eye and so much more. 

After the tour, we walked around Borough Market and Soho Square to check out the stores and restaurants. The amazing day was capped off with a super fun night at O’Neill’s in Chinatown — where we experienced our first real taste of nightlife in London.

As classes begin this week, I’m excited for this new journey. I’m ready to experience a whole new culture, learn and grow during my time here.

While I’ll miss being at Penn State throughout this semester, I know there most likely won’t be another chance to study and travel around Europe for an entire semester in my life.

Each day will be a new and exciting adventure. Having the chance to document it through columns is incredible. 

Writing for The Daily Collegian while I’m abroad is also helping me feel connected to the Penn State community while I’m in another country.

For now, it’s time to get back to figuring out where my classes are and make sure I catch the right tube. 

Even though it’s only been one week since I’ve arrived, I can’t wait to see what these next four months hold. 

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Liam Wichser is an abroad columnist for The Daily Collegian studying in London for the 2023 spring semester. He is a junior majoring in broadcast journalism with a minor in sports studies.