First Impressions
Holiday, London, Fall 2014
October 3, 2014

As I have been living in London since May my arrival was quite different than that of my housemates. I simply jumped on the tube with my suitcase and in under an hour I was getting off at Edgware Road station and arriving at my new home! Although I have already been in London for 4 months living in such a central location is a completely unique experience.

Donaldson, H - Fall 14 - London

One of my favorite places in London: The national gallery in Trafalgar Square

Since most buildings in London are older I assumed that our flat would be a walk up on the smaller side with maybe one bathroom between six of us. This would be fairly typical of a flat here. I could not have been more wrong. Our flat is spacious and modern with brand new appliances and beautiful wood flooring. My roommate and I even have our own bathroom off of our bedroom! The apartment is also incredibly well located. We are walking distance to three tube stations, an overground station and several bus lines. In a city as large as London I have learned that living close to public transit is an absolute necessity and can make or break your experience here.


On my way to the library at CSM

Our first Sunday I hopped on the tube early in the morning to visit Columbia Road Flower Market. Although I have been living in this city for months I had never made it to the market. Columbia Road is in one of my favorite parts of London, Shoreditch. The market is situated on a quiet road just off of Shoreditch High Street. I especially liked that the vendors specialize in only flowers and plants, whereas many of the markets in London have a wide variety of offerings. There were all kinds of beautiful and unusual plants. I got a bit over excited and me and my friend each left carrying a small jungle!

Donaldson, H - Fall 14 - London

Picking out the perfect Cactus at Columbia Road Market.

Donaldson, H - Fall 14 - London

Admiring the flowers Columbia Road Market.

Donaldson, H - Fall 14 - London

Me and my arm load of flowers and plants at Columbia Road!

Although I am enjoying exploring the city I am very anxious for my course to begin. My orientation this week reminded me all over again why I chose to study abroad at UAL. Although they threw a lot of information at us in one day it was really exciting to hear about all the opportunities that will be open to me here. One of the resources at UAL that I am most looking forward to taking advantage of are the libraries. Since there are 6 schools in the UAL I will have access to ALL of their libraries even though I am only studying at Chelsea. I love libraries and I find that research is integral to my creative process. In fact I am currently writing this blog post from the CSM library! I also cannot wait to take advantage of the archives and collections that I will have access to here! Did you know that CSM has every single issue of American, British, and Italian Vogue going back to the 1930s? EVERY. SINGLE. ISSUE. I wonder if I will have time to read all of them before the semester is over…

Donaldson, H - Fall 14 - London

Even though I have been to many times I still enjoy the occasional tourist moment! Here’s Big Ben.


Holiday is a current student at the San Francisco Art Institute studying at University of the Arts London during the Fall 2014 term.

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About SAI

SAI is dedicated to providing academic and cultural learning experiences abroad that enhance global awareness, professional development and social responsibility. We concentrate our programs in Europe, with a focus on in-depth learning of individual European countries and their unique global role in the geopolitical economy, humanities, and in the arts.