Living and Learning in London

Ezra in LondonHi! My name is Ezra James Capiral, and I studied abroad in London during the Spring 2020 semester. I’m a Television, Radio & Film major and will be graduating in Spring 2021. My time abroad was nothing short of life-changing. I seriously cannot think of another adjective to describe it, because that word so accurately describes my experience. Even though I was only abroad for a couple of weeks, and was cut short due to the virus outbreak, I made the most of my time abroad and do not regret the time I chose to do so.

What led me to apply for the London program specifically was an utter fascination and curiosity about British culture. I knew language wouldn’t be a barrier, so I took comfort in that fact. However, I knew that living in a different country for an extended amount of time, being that I’ve never left the US in my 20 years of life, would prove some sort of challenge.

Living on my own with no meal plan meant having to buy my own groceries and cook for myself, which in turn would also save money since eating out every day would not be within my budget. Taking public transportation every day to get to class and simply get around London was something I had to learn as well but after only a week or so, the Tube proved very easy to navigate.

Finding the time to incorporate my studies while also having the opportunity to explore the city was also a challenge, as sometimes you can let your excitement get the better of you and cause you to prioritize differently. As I overcame each of these small obstacles, I found myself to feel more comfortable in the new environment, which in turn helped me manage my time better and maximize the productivity of my days. With more free time, I took advantage of the fact that travel to other countries from London would be cheaper than it would be from the US. That took me to Gothenburg, Sweden, for a weekend, where I got to eat plenty of fresh seafood, visit art and history museums, and ride an electric scooter for the very first time! Back in London, I would frequent the V&A museum, various food stops (mostly hot pot), and my favorite, Hyde Park, only a 20-minute walk from my flat.

In terms of academics, I can definitely say I was the most invested in my classes abroad than I have been throughout my time at SU. What I enjoyed most about my course schedule is the fact that at least half of the classes require you to venture outside the classroom, thus allowing learning through cultural immersion and exploration. While some of these field trips were led by the professor, a lot of them actually required you to travel on your own time, gather the information that you learn, and then report to the classroom the next day about your findings. Each day, and each week, I was constantly inspired by the academic material, and how interactive learning was highly encouraged through personal exploration and engaging conversations inside and outside the classroom.

In the future, I definitely plan on going back to London, as well as visit other places within the UK that I was not able to explore yet. There is always so much more to learn and discover, and I cannot wait for what my next adventure has in store for me!

Ezra James Capiral ’21

Syracuse London

Newhouse, TRF