BY COLBY CALISI // OCT. 24, 2014 //

Studying abroad at the Richmond, the American International University in London, was among the greatest four months of my life. It was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, and I’m so glad I took it.

What I tell students is this: We have no full-time job. We have no mortgages. We have no families to support. We have relatively few financial commitments. What we do have, though, is our youth.

My high school Spanish teach, Thomas Silva, used to say, “Travel when you’re young, it is the best time to do it.”

When living in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, you will be living among the rich and famous. Walking to the “Tube,” London’s public transit system, you will pass men and women who look like they are straight out of a fashion magazine. On the street, Lamborghinis, Ferraris, Aston Martins, and Rolls Royces are an everyday thing. Most basic flats, or apartments, in this area cost at least 1 million pounds, which is roughly $1.6 million in U.S. currency.

The London 'Eye,' on a sunny afternoon. // PHOTO BY JR P // creative commons
The London ‘Eye,’ on a sunny afternoon. // PHOTO BY JR P // creative commons

Just down the road you can find Kate Middleton and Prince William’s residence, Kensington Palace. Located in Hyde Park, you will find a bustling, green park with runners, lovers, and even stoners. Other notable residents in this borough have included names such as David Beckham, Gwyneth Paltrow and Mick Jagger.

If you study abroad at Richmond, you will start to understand the “work hard, play hard” mentality. I had the opportunity to work with MAMA Group, a live music company headquartered in the heart of London. Some of my daily duties consisted of reading artist contracts and uploading them for bank payment. It is cool seeing how much money popular artist like 2 Chainz, Tyga, Mos Def and Snoop Dogg make per show. In addition, I worked with people from England, Poland, Scotland, and my favorite, South Africa.

Then I would catch a flight to any European city of my choice for a weekend filled with clubbing, sightseeing and eating all the delicious food that was within my budget. More on this in my next blog post.

But why travel when there is so much to do in London? England puts a high value on education, which translates into free museums and art galleries. If you fancy football—better known as soccer in the U.S.—there are about seven major teams in London. If theatre and music is your thing, London is also the place to be.

Ultimately, what will truly stick with you are the people you meet. You’ll make new friends from all over the U.S. and Europe. You will always remember the laughs you shared together and the long nights that turned into early mornings.

Curry College students interested in studying abroad at Richmond can contact Liz Deren, associate director of the Center for Career Development, at ederen1006@curry.edu. There are many other study-abroad opportunities as well, and Ms. Deren can help guide you along the application processes.

The world is yours for the experiencing. Do it now…while you’re still young.

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