My name is Dan Audette, and I am a junior economics concentrator here at Brown. On campus, I am a tour guide, info session leader, Meiklejohn peer advisor, and instructor in an elementary school program run through the Swearer Center for Public Service, among other things. For about the next nine months, I will be posting this year about my life abroad in London as a part of the column “Life Abroad”!
Well, I have now been in London for over a month! It is starting to feel a bit normal. I no longer stare in awe at the double-decker buses while singing along to The Smiths in my head. I no longer feel like I am going to be hit by a car when I cross the street because I looked the wrong way. Granted, Big Ben is pretty spectacular still. Yet, there are some things I miss from home, including Kraft Mac ‘n Cheese, Dunkin’ Donuts, and Providence. Recently, however, I’ve found a few things that make me feel more at home while abroad.
A few weekends ago there was an NFL Fan Rally in Trafalgar Square. The NFL has a growing fan base in London, and it was awesome to get a photo with the Lombardi Trophy for free!!!! There were players from the Jaguars and 49ers present (they were playing at Wembley that weekend), and tons of tailgate food!!! I also caved last week and bought myself KFC after a night at a club in Leicester Square.
The General Course at the LSE is a mainly American study abroad program, so there is a built in group of other American students already. We also tend to take very similar courses as each other, so some of my courses are completely dominated by General Course students. This leads to plenty of jokes about America and its culture in lectures, classes, and social situations. For example, today in my econometrics module we observed data that showed a relationship between income inequality and various societal problems. There was plenty of laughter and “USA” chants when the homicide, incarceration, and obesity statistics were shown.
As for things I’ve done around London in the past couple of weeks, there was a Harry Potter walking tour that took students to various locations in London where scenes from the movie were filmed, including the entrance to the Leaky Cauldron, King’s Cross and St Pancras Stations, and Millenium Bridge. I also went to Covent Garden (pictured above), which is a great shopping and food area, a boutique turned bar for a Rocky Horror themed party, and saw “The Doll’s House” at a theatre near Trafalgar Square (it was absolutely AMAZING)!
That’s all for now!
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.