For six weeks, I lived in London at 27 Palace Court. It’s strange because if you asked me a year ago, I would have said “one day I’m going to London” or “one day I’m going to travel across Europe” or “one day I’m moving to England”. I have always had a craving for adventures and traveling the world. But it was always in a hypothetical sense. It was always just a dream.
But for six short weeks, it was my reality. I am 20 years old and I moved to London. Yes it was for school and yes I was studying. But I was living in London. The BYU flat is 27 Palace Court. Six weeks is enough time for a place to not feel like a vacation. It became home to me. We went to class, church, and activities just like I would at home. We helped with dinner chores and attempted to keep our room clean. It felt different than a normal vacation because I got into my routine. Sometimes the days were long and I got frustrated with all the essays but it seriously felt like a home away from home.
The best part of living at Palace Court was the friends I made. This program began with an intro class last fall. We had to do a group program so I meet some people there, but I was so nervous I wouldn’t have friends. This was my biggest fear for the program. I wasn’t scared to go to a new continent or that’s something would happen. I was just afraid I wouldn’t make real friends and have things to do. Most of my friends I’ve known since high school so going on this program without knowing people was a big issue for me. I didn’t have the best group of friends my freshman year of college and I really wanted to make good friends while in Europe because I would be with these people for three months. Now that I’ve been home I definitely know I made great friends, but going into the program I was definitely afraid.
I made lots of friends while there. By the end of the six weeks, I knew everyone. I had specific moments and memories with every single person. It’s hard not to become friends when you live together in a small flat for an extended amount of time. Before getting accepted to this study abroad, I applied to a different one at the London Centre. I was really disappointed when I wasn’t accepted to a program my freshman year but I know that I was supposed to go with this group of students and I am so grateful I did. We had lots of adventures exploring London, but one of my favorite parts of Palace Court was the nights because we would stay up until 3 or 4am every night just talking and laughing.
Studying abroad is an incredible experience. The people you met became the best of friends and the places you stay became a home. 27 Palace Court was and still feels like a home to me and will forever be a part of my life.