London calling – not just for The Clash

By: Heddi Cundle,

London Calling – not just for The Clash

Brilliant song and seriously legendary so if you don’t know it, then you need 101 training here.  Now if you’re off to London for study abroad at any of the outstanding programs with API then you need the showdown and lowdown of what London is all about.  Contrary to every Dick Van Dyke movie, the British do not sound like this. Not even remotely! It’s the most multi-cultural city in the world and even just arriving at Heathrow Airport will validate this statement.  As with all major cities, the diversity in ethnic backgrounds are alive and kicking in England’s capital so get ready to have a massive culture booster the second you arrive in the big smoke. Also, don’t try imitate the British accent – it’s not amusing to the British so stick to your fantastic American accent and you’ll be fine (big hint!).

Alongside incredible attractions like the Tate Gallery, Carnaby Street, Primrose Hill, West End Theater and Notting Hill to name but a few, I highly suggest you veer partially off the beaten path. A few suggestions where you can really dig your heels into the true heart of London include Greenwich Market (yes, the dateline for all time zones start here), Hampstead Heath, see a concert at Wembley Stadium or The 02, wander down Camden Market on a Monday and zip over to London Zoo, slap bang in the middle of Regents Park.  Time Out, London is phenomenal and everyone uses it as their lifestyle bible so grab a copy weekly. There’s always some outrageous demonstration or exhibition going on at Trafalgar Square and the best part is that they’re usually free.  The same with Speakers Corner at Hyde Park – if you want to see people venting, this is the place to go.  Want to be an art expert? Then check out the Saatchi Gallery on the Kings Road and while you’re at it, strut up and down the Kings Road and Sloane Square – this was the 60’s ‘place to be seen’ where every style & fashion queen started their inspiration.  From Vivienne Westwood to Mary Quant, it then led to be being the hippie & punk global capital in the 70’s and supposedly James Bond’s home was based here!  It’s now home to some of the wealthiest real estate in the world and you’ll usually see at least a dozen celebrities in the area on any given week.

It’s not cheap in London but you can find amazing deals like Pret a Manger where the sandwiches are oversized and can take you a few hours to get through them. Also, any place selling Fish & Chips is a must-do. It’s not so healthy but you will absolutely adore it. Pub food is also quite cheap so get on a London Underground (subway) and head to the end of the train line. Within 5 blocks you’ll usually find a cheap pub. Yes, the British don’t give usual landmark directions – we use pubs as milestone locations! Indulge though (this is a must) in one of the special cupcakes at Hummingbird Bakery, Portobello Road – the rocky road cupcake can take 2 days to finish.

And if you want to spend fresh air – aka, nothing, then check out London for Free. There’s always a ton of stuff going on in any corner of the city so get off that double decker bus and start wandering around this huge city. With any luck, you’ll end up at the famous Brick Lane Beigel (not a typo) and grab a cheap bagel.  It’s a legendary place and on the way back west into central London, you can say hello to the Gherkin.   So now you know why the Clash wrote that song…it’s your London to enjoy and it’s seriously calling you to explore. Cheerio! (by the way, no one says that either anymore)

By – a social travel gift card where you can gift, save, plan, share and book all your study abroad travels.  Guaranteed to keep your wallet fat and your travel plans stress free!

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Sep 25, 2021 @ 15:47
With research and planning, you can find a study abroad program that fits your budget. We believe in being up-front with what’s included and avoiding hidden fees.

#apiabroad #ispyapi @apiabroad @shsustudyabroad
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Sep 24, 2021 @ 16:40
Photo contest!
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Calling all API alumni! We know you have some amazing photos from your time abroad with API and guess what?! You now have the chance to win up to $500 cash for showing them off in our 2021 API PHOTO CONTEST!

Click the link to enter!
Sep 21, 2021 @ 12:12
API will be on campuses across the country in the coming days and we would love to talk to you! Come say hi at one of the fairs listed below, and grab some free swag. You can also enter to win a $1,000 flight voucher!

Check out the fairs this week!
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Sep 20, 2021 @ 17:45
Calling all API alumni! We know you have some amazing photos from your time abroad with API and guess what?! You now have the chance to win up to $500 cash for showing them off in our 2021 API PHOTO CONTEST!

Click the link to enter!
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