Casual trips through London and Dublin

ireland

Over the past week, my best friend has been visiting from the US. This is s first time in London,or anywhere in Europe for that matter. It was amazing to experience London through a fresh pair of eyes.

We began our week doing the normal “touristy” things. Buckingham Palace, Tower Bridge, Big Ben, Parliament, The Eye and the Tower of London. After strolling through all of these great places… I made sure that he was able to experience London markets and the night scenes.

Zach immediately fell in love wit the Camden Markets. I never thought a guy would be so interested in the market settings… But he had a ball. We also managed to do a pub crawl through Camden that night with a few of my friends from England and Switzerland.

This was one of the first moments that I realized just how amazing my experience has been. The envy of my London life became very apparent with all of the, “that’s so cool!” And the, “I can’t believe this is where you live”. Needless to say, Zach officially wishes he would had studied abroad.

This weekend, we made our way over to Dublin. This was mine and Zach’s first time in Ireland. It proved to be a great time! We went with 4 other people I met while studying abroad. The group made for a great way to split up and get everyone to everywhere they wanted to go.

We had the pleasure of visiting the Guinness Factory, seeing castles, old Viking churches, Irish dancing and singing and even a ghost tour!

Ireland was beyond cool! It has a great night atmosphere and some of the most friendly people I have ever met. Everywhere we turned was a friendly face making sure we were okay and knew where we were going.

Overall, I have had a great week experiencing London and Ireland with my best friend! He has validated my decision to study abroad for a year… And proven to me that great friends never go away. Experiencing new and different countries with the people you love makes everything a little brighter.

I am so glad I got a little taste of home. Luckily, my mom and sister are headed out here in a week and a half! We will be galavanting through London and making our way to Spain!

Until next time ūüôā

Cheers!
Sam

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Casually Strolling Through Paris

This past weekend I was lucky enough to spend my time in Paris, France! ¬†it was unbelievable! ¬†I was amazed by the architecture, culture and food! ¬†Though I was only able to spend 2 days in the city… I wouldn’t trade it for a moment! (I would recommend the city to anyone studying in Europe)

While in Paris, I climbed the stairs of the Eiffel Tower, toured the Louvre, roamed the city streets, attended a Six Nations Rugby game (the superbowl of rugby), searched through Notre Dame, **Shopped, experienced night life AND got a lesson in the Paris Metro (which proved to be quite different than the London Tube).

*If you’d like more information on Paris, comment on my blog, and I will post more next time*

Aside from Paris, I have been getting ready for my best friend to come and visit from UND.  This is his first time to Europe, so I am very excited to show him around London.  We are lucky enough to be taking a trip to Dublin this coming weekend, so he will get a chance to experience London and Dublin all in one trip.

I am ecstatic for a visit from home! ¬†I have officially gone 6 months with no family contact (aside from Facebook, Skype and Whatsapp). ¬†I am so excited to post some pictures of Zach and I around London and Dublin! ¬†There is nothing better than the excitement of picking a friend up from the airport and being able to show them “your city”.

I will be sure to blog again this week with more picture from my site seeing!

Until we meet again!

Cheers,

Sam

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Life at Uni

As life at the University of Westminster settles in more, I find myself making more and more life long connections across the world. ¬†I am taking mostly upper level classes here at the University of Westminster, which have proven to be a bit more difficult than my past semester of level 4 and 5 classes (1st and 2nd year). ¬†The great thing about the classes I am currently enrolled in, is the lack of Americans and American influence. ¬†In my seminars (classes are divided into 1.5 hour lectures and 1.5 hour seminars/per week) I am either the only American, or one of three American’s.

It is very interesting to get a better feel of what each person can bring to a group project. More importantly, to get a feel of how different we all really are. ¬†In one of my groups (European education *at least in business schools* tend to have a lot more “group” work versus tests and exams) there are two men from Amsterdam, one from India, one woman from Poland, another from Germany, one English and one other American. ¬†Our project is on “High Street Banks”. ¬†I had NO idea what this was when we began discussing it, however, I have come to find out, it is no more than an “American” style bank; one with the ability to walk into the tellers or to drive through to the ATM or drive through tellers. ¬†Interestingly enough, I happened to know more about these banks operations than any of my fellow group members. ¬†However, our ability to bring out knowledge together has really been in our groups favor due to the different perspectives we are now able to share in the project.

Aside from school, I have officially booked a trip to Paris for this weekend!  I am very excited to get off the UK island and onto Mainland Europe!  I have only been to Amsterdam (last semester) and had a great time there! Hopefully Paris will show me the same love. My friend and I are going to a rugby match one of the nights, and will spend the others being true tourists.

I have also booked a trip to Poland, Ireland and Spain for the semester.  Hopefully I will also be able to make it up to Scotland and Wales before I leave!  We have the whole month of April off for holiday breaks, so it will be a great time to get to see more of the UK.

A friend of mine is coming to visit in 10 days. ¬†I am very excited to have a little piece of home over here. ¬†I have not seen any of my friends or family in over 5 months now… so it will be so great to have my best friend here. ¬†I am not totally sure how people studied abroad when there was no internet or Facebook! ¬†I can not imagine being completely cut off from the world I came from!

I had the pleasure of celebrating “Australia Day” and “Kiwi Day” this past week. ¬†That was quite entertaining may I add! ¬†It was pretty similar to the 4th of July celebrations in America… except seeing Australian and New Zealand flags and fanatics all over London. ¬†I sometimes forget just how “worldly” the city of London really is.

Can’t wait to write about my adventures in Paris! ¬†Until next time ūüôā

Cheers!

Sam

(PS: Below is a picture of my mate, Sonia *from Mexico City* and I before a night out)

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