New Day, New Adventure

In September 2021, I decided to spend one month in the UK to improve my knowledge of English. So, I went to London and stayed with a family in a terraced house near Hampstead Heath. It is a vast park where you can see London and its skyscrapers if you reach the top. My school was Kaplan Covent Garden. A college with countless students from anywhere. Maybe, primarily Japanese and people from south-America. The school is perfect for reaching the main attractions in London and relaxing. There were three parks near it and many restaurant chains, such as Pret a Manager, Starbucks, Coco di Mama, and others. During this month, I spent many hours as a tourist. Indeed, I visited attractions such as Windsor Castle, Tower Bridge, and Hyde Park. It was an extraordinary experience where I learned much, not only English!

I arrived in London on Saturday. The first day was frustrating because it was my first time alone in a metropolis like London, and I was lost on the tube. I didn’t know how to reach my future family, and I didn’t know which ticket I should have taken😂. After THREE hours instead of one, I finally got my “new family.” The family comprises an agreeable woman, Kim, and her son. After a mini-tour of the house, Kim and I went for a walk to know each other better.

We walked in the park for around one hour and met many of her friends. She told me many things about the neighborhood and how to reach the college from her house (I have to admit that I had my head elsewhere, so I didn’t understand quite anything). I also discovered that she was completely different from me: I love computers, and she hates not only computers but every tech thing.

The view from Hampstead Heath

The following day was extraordinary. I had planned to try to move around the city and reach my new school to see the area, but Kim asked me to stay with her and her friends, and I accepted. It was an unusual experience because I didn’t know she was a church catechism teacher on Sunday. So I spent two hours helping her in teaching (it was challenging because I didn’t know much about this argument). Then we ate in a small restaurant with other people, and I took fish and chips like a real tourist. After that, we ran to another church (we ran because it was late). This time the church was in the Angel neighborhood. So, we helped poor people in the church and played with some children. I had an experience I never thought I would have during a study vacation like this.

Mainly, during the first week, I followed the lessons at Kaplan. They were 4 hours of “normal English” (especially grammar and speaking) during the morning and 2 hours in the afternoon. These were about “real English.” I learned more about idioms and more common words in every-days English. My classmates from the morning class were mainly people from South America (especially from Cile); others were from Saudi Arabia, Japan, South Korea, Germany, and France.
After school, I used to go to Hyde Park, go sightseeing, or do my homework in a coffee. Also, I attended some extra-lesson like “social club,” where I had the opportunity to meet new people. Unexpectedly I met a girl from Turin!

The following Saturday and Sunday were much more different from the first ones. With one of my new friends, Jinku (from Japan), we visited Windsor Castle. These two days were also very relaxing because we spent many hours in parks talking about everything, particularly our different cultures.

Windsor Castle

The following weekend was much more adventurous than the previous one. I visited my sister, who was doing a cultural exchange in Worcester on Saturday. A small and green city near Birmingham. I spent 2.30 hours by train to reach her, and when I arrived, we went to have breakfast in Costa. Then she carries me on to visit the city. London was chaotic and noisy, but Worcester was quiet on the other side, with few tourists around its narrow streets. After a characteristic lunch and a terrible colossal piece of a typical cake, she introduced me to her host family. From my point of view, the family was really kind but bit unusual.
The day after, Sunday, Jinku and I went to visit Oxford. I also found this city very different from London. The buildings’ architectures were utterly diverse. As every tourist in Oxford (I think), we visited the university where the Harry Potter movie was produced and reached the top of a vast church. I found this city very warm!


One day, when I was coming back home, Kim told me that a guy from Korea was arriving and he would stay with us. I was really excited because I had the opportunity to discover a new culture and, at the same time, ask him about the latest Netflix series, “Squid Game.” He was an intelligent guy who worked as an electrical engineer for Samsung.
I spent two afternoons with him and Jinku when we went to Candem Town. It was my second time here because I visited the neighborhood with my Italo-Spain friends, who I met during my first social class. Unfortunately, the Korean guy changed his stay after a few days because he didn’t feel comfortable with Kim (maybe because she was talkative and, on the other side, he was a little bit shy).

Different from the first-weekend trip, this one was a little bit harder: the temperature was freezing and, when we arrived at Seven Sister park started to rain. We tried to reach the cliffs but when we arrived the rain was so heavy and the wind so strong that it was impossible to see something. So, we decided to come back to the city and try to do a walk. It wasn’t a good idea at all because we were completely wet! Then, we found an H&M (or something like that), bought dry clothes, and returned to London after paying. It was an exhilarating adventure!

To the seven sisters

The days between every weekend were always surprising. Jinku and I used to spend half/more than half the day visiting different London attractions, different neighborhoods, and museums. We visited the British Museum (I didn’t like it), the Nationa Gallery, the Tate Modern, the Victoria and Albert Museum, the London Bridge, and many others. Also, we walked in so many places like Brick Line, Candem Town, China Town, Notting Hill, and Greenwich.

He was always tired (he said because of the classes but IDK), but with a Pret smoothie, he recovered! So, the time spent with him was incredible. Also, he taught me some Japanese words, but I didn’t learn anything :/. On the other side, I learned a Japanese card game called “Rich and Poor.” You can find the role here. When we were neither visiting nor drinking something at Pret, we used to look for Banksy’s art, study together, and try different food. In the Angel neighborhood, we also watched the new 007 at a vintage cinema (without subtitles).

The Cinema

The time didn’t stop, so the last weekend arrived. Last Saturday and Sunday were fascinating but, at the exact moment, really sad. I was unhappy because I didn’t want to leave London and my new friends. So, Jinku and I decided to celebrate my last weekend, firstly eating sushi in my favorite food chain, Itsu, and then watching the “Back To The Future Musical.” I’ve never seen the film, but I know the story :). I enjoyed it even if I didn’t understand no more than dozen words.

This month in the UK was a must to do experience. I had the opportunity to discover countless cultures, ideas, and places, and I met lots of incredible people. I hope to have the chance to redo an adventure like this. Also, I discovered how much I like to live in huge cities like London, where city life doesn’t stop. Every hour there were many people, activities, and places to discover. So then, meet a person like Jinku that follows you on your strange and tiring trip, the study vacation can only be compelling and fascinating!

International Friends

You can see my photo album here: ALBUM!

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