Having visited London before as a tourist eight years ago, I had some idea of what to expect upon my arrival: a big city buzzing with people, full of great history, and where social manners matter very much. The best word to describe London would be overwhelming. To my surprise, living in London has been an easy adjustment these past few weeks.
The city lifestyle is of high intensity with so much happening everyday: new exhibitions, a variety of industry events, as well as festivals and concerts. Also, there is a lot of creative energy and spirit in the way people dress and businesses starting up. As a student, there are so many opportunities to try new things and it is possible to do it all, from attending interactive workshops, exercising at gym classes, and exploring London’s amazing museums and landmarks.
Location is everything, and the London College of Fashion is perfectly situated next to Oxford Circus, the mecca of High Street shopping in London. During Orientation, I was acquainted with British Fashion and Culture through a series of informative and interesting lectures. This term, I am taking courses in Fashion Theory, Visual Merchandising, and Product Innovation; so far, all the classes have been fantastic and I look forward to the upcoming field visits. The professors are truly experienced professionals and academics, and are very passionate about their areas of expertise. I have especially enjoyed the Visual Merchandising class, which is quite hands on and promotes my creativity.
The school has a wealth of resources that make my studies a rich and intellectual experience. The Short Course office team is there to help with any question or need I may have. The College Library is full of books on every subject, especially luxury and fashion. It is a great place to study and do research, and the staff is very helpful. The Open Space is the go-to place for technology support and to work on projects. The Career Services office evaluates CVs and gives advice for career path and job searches. There are lots of college events occurring every week, like speaker panels, workshop classes, and social gatherings. Not only that, but I have access to all the campuses of the University of the Arts London. This includes the famous Central Saint Martins, a school that doubles as a haven for design studies and a live, around the clock student fashion show, as design students wear their own creations to class. I am taking advantage of every aspect of my education and enjoying every minute of it!
It helps that I live in Zone 1, and everything is within close distance. London, however, is an expensive city to live in. The tube and bus transit system is very efficient and convenient, but the Oyster Card comes at a premium. Eating out can also be pricey, but the school has a cafeteria with a very affordable lunch menu. Finally, accommodation is quite costly, so it is important to keep a budget and find ways to save money. I have been lucky that the exchange rate for the sterling pound is down at this time. Nonetheless, a good piece of advice is to leave credit cards at home!
In the end, there is only one drawback to my experience in London: that it has to be so short! I feel that I will leave this city yearning for more, and will return very soon.