I initially chose this University because my boyfriend studied here and on a visit, I fell in love with the campus, and of course the Brits and their lifestyle. What’s not to love?
The trip across the pond was an easy one; I flew directly from John F. Kennedy airport to London Gatwick airport via Norwegian Airlines. If you are looking for a cheap flight, I highly recommend. Though the tickets are affordable, you don’t feel like you’re flying on a cheap airline. The entertainment system was great, there were popular tv shows, movies, music titles, and games to choose from on your individual screen. Also, there is no worry about draining your phone while in the airport prior to your flight because there are convenient charging docks on every seat. The meal service (you do have to pay for this) was another highlight of the flight as we were offered complimentary drinks, a full dinner, and a breakfast! Most importantly the seats were roomy, and the person in front of me was not in my lap.
Gatwick train station
Upon arrival to London Gatwick, customs and baggage claim was a breeze. Fortunately, my boyfriend James had decided to return for another term abroad at the University of Exeter, so I had some muscle to help me carry all of my overweight suitcases. A girl can never have enough shoes, right? Twenty-four hours later – a plane, a train, and a cab, and a smelly couple later we had reached a relative of James’ home in Swindon. We thankfully were able to grab a shower, a bite to eat and a good night’s rest before our last trek to Exeter. Our trip across the pond went quite smoothly.
At last the following day we made it in one piece, albeit 30 pounds poorer (cab rides ugh), to our flat. Our flat accommodated seven people, James and myself, three others from Hong Kong, and two from Kansas! Thankfully our roommates are awesome, and though we may not all have the same interests we get along really well and go on various excursions together. All in all, the transition from the States to the U.K. was a long, but easy one, and it is not a decision I would regret doing. In the short month and a half that I have been here, I’ve learned more about the world, other’s cultures and norms, and have become more open-minded and accepting of the differences that make each and every one of us ourselves. If there is anything I have learned from this, simply it is that travel opens the mind and everyone should do it once! Why not follow in our steps and take a trip across the pond?
- Flight: $400 (ticket originally 300, but I had two overweight bags…all those shoes)
- Trains: £52 (Gatwick – Swindon, then Swindon to Exeter)
- Cab Fare: £15