How it is living in London

How it is living in London

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Hello, I am Jorge Neyra Ruiz, a student of International Relations with Political sciences in London South Bank University, coming from Spain. Here it is my experience living in London.

London is currently one of the greatest cities not only within the United Kingdom but also Europe, with a large cultural identity from the north to the south of the country. It is a city surrounded by a tireless commercial, financial, cultural and touristic activity, as well as it is one of the largest metropolitan capital cities around the world, which received over 19 million people in 2017. This city found by the Romans in the 1st century and called as Londinium is today’s one of the wealthiest countries which allow her to offer lots of employability opportunities to both national and non-national people, as this city never stops expanding itself socially and economically. This is visible in its constant structural changes and in the 300 different spoken languages within the region.

The great historical content of the United Kingdom on political, economical, cultural and social aspects is what it has made it the core of several thinkings and ideologies, such as liberalism during the 18th century (The enlightenment), a change from the notion of absolute monarchy to seek for representing the will of the people, as well as it is one of the most important economical cores in the international system, where we can recognise prominent figures that marked the economic system, such as; Adam Smith, “the Father of Modern Economics or John Maynard Keynes, a liberal economist. All these characteristics have made London a global city in politics, mostly represented in the British Parliament (London), as well as, in fashion, arts, commerce, education, healthcare and tourism. Reason why it is also nowadays the fifth largest metropolitan area GDP in the world and world’s largest city airport system.

As you can see, London is a city where its continual activity generates lots of opportunities, that joint to its lifestyle make you possible to develop yourself, either academically or professionally as well as grow up personally, which is really valuable and it will account a lot in our future. However it is not just a work or study place but a city with a wide range of social activities as well as places of different backgrounds that makes every corner original and interesting, from classical architectures as Westminster, the Tower of London and Tower bridge, to modern ones, mainly characterised by large buildings and towers, whose structures follow original shapes and are usually covered by glass windows, as Sky gardens, Gherkin and the Shard, to also alternative areas as Camden town or natural ones as Hyde park, Richmond park, Regent’s park or Greenwich park.

From my experience, especially during my first semester, I could feel that activity in how fast everything was going, the days were shorter and the amount of things to do increased, which it will change you to be more aware and try to catch up with the rhythm of the city, as well as  it can make you feel there is a lot to do, as we are students and we have to combine studies, social life and in most of the cases work (part-time), which is really common because there are lots of opportunities for employability and therefore, it will be easy to find one, plus it is a worthy activity to carry out, for you to gain work experience. Although sometimes this lifestyle can result tireless or difficult to manage, in my case, this fact “woke me up” in the sense of being aware of the opportunities this city offers and the positive side of using them, as entails a great learning process, then it is when you realised what you are doing it is productive.   On the other hand, this is not going to be it of your experience living in London, also it will be important to rest properly and to find the place, time and company to do it, as I said there is a large range of options for you to choose, from visiting the city (museums, restaurants, parks, etc..) to have a nice night out with your friends in the several pubs or nightclubs in the capital, where you will find all nationalities and languages, which coming from abroad I found really interesting.

Perhaps you have heard that London is really competitive and racist but the truth is that being in an university environment everyone has respect for each other as we all have different backgrounds so better be tolerant, with regard to competition it is something that we will always feel it, as there would be people above and below along our life, although because of a large number of people it is true it could be more visible. However you have surely heard about the weather, well I can tell that is an unchangeable fact, and this is what especially students coming from sunny and dry countries will miss a lot, as the sun is not really friendly with us, above all in winter time when I really preferred to be busy all the time otherwise it might get a bit depressive.

Overall, London is a great city that offers a wide range of things which to apply your time in, a cold place, but full of opportunities waiting for you to be taken, for taking some advantage of them, a place that will provide you lots of experiences and emotions at all levels. For me coming from another country was challenging, because I was leaving my comfort zone and my known social circle to start from zero in a place whose culture and lifestyle is very different as well as the language, which can make you be afraid of coming to the unknown thing. However, today’s I feel I did the correct thing and that there was not another best time than when we are young to explore and know new things. This is why I totally recommend experiences like this one, that makes you increase your confidence and grow up personally.

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Jorge Neyra Ruiz.


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