Life Across the Pond (And Over the Thames)

Hailey Hunter, Global Business Institute: London Summer 2022

Hello readers! I am so excited to be writing to you from across the pond in London, England! To start with a little about myself, my name is Hailey Hunter. I’m a rising senior marketing major with certificates in business analytics, leadership & ethics, and public & professional writing. This summer I will be blogging from the Global Business Institute London program, where I will spend 6 weeks with CAPA, The Global Education Network. There, I will be taking the classes, Writing the City as well as Analyzing and Exploring the Global City with a cohort of American students from varying U.S schools. I also get the opportunity to live in a flat with my peers!
Living in London has been the experience of a lifetime, in a prime location with some pretty great people. I currently stay in a 2-bedroom flat, with 4 other roommates. We share rooms, 3 students in one, 2 in the other. In my room is myself and actually my two very good friends from Pitt! Studying abroad is a big adjustment, so it’s been amazing having familiar faces to seek comfort in, in a new environment such as this. My other two roommates are from the University of Alabama. We’ve had the best time exploring the city all together and learning from one another’s individual experiences. 
What I love most about our living space, is the location. We are in the East End, which is just steps away from “The City,” the square mile of the historical financial district of London. It’s an extremely diverse area with fine lines separating the wealthiest area of London’s white collar jobs and some of the most impoverished areas. What is unique is that you can see endless walks of life from any direction you walk in from our flat. Take a right out our front door, you’re headed towards Brick Lane, which has been a hub for immigration for decades. From a Jewish community to a thriving Bangladesh society, to now facing an influx of gentrification, it’s a historically rich neighborhood to explore. 
Alternatively, if I were to turn left once leaving my flat, I’d be heading toward the more recognizable and iconic views of the city. 15 minutes away is Tower Bridge. Interestingly, most people mistake the landmark for the song-titled “London Bridge,” but that’s actually a few bridges down and is much less iconographic. Nearby, you can also explore the Tower of London, a glimpse of Her Majesty’s formal Royal Palace. 
I have loved being able to see all these diverse views of the city and truly becoming an active participant in the communities. Understanding both the strengths and struggles of the communities that surround me is a crucial part to developing a meaningful and education study abroad experience, and I am very grateful for the opportunity to be a part of it.