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Having never visited London before, I was anxious as I stepped off the plane and lugged my 30kg suitcase out of the airport. Whilst we both still speak the same language and pledge allegiance to the Queen, that is where the similarity between Australia and England ends. The biggest and most obvious difference is the drastic contrast in climate and weather conditions. Coming from 40-degree, high-humidity Brisbane to cold, harsh winds and temperatures barely above 0-degrees was the hardest adjustment to make and I was finally able to wear my gloves and beanies that were collecting dust in my cupboard. After a few days, however, layering became my new best friend and adding a scarf and two jackets to my outfit every morning became second nature.
Our residency, located in Notting Hill, is closely situated to many public transport routes and my apartment, which I share with another amazing intern, truly reflects London accommodation. After unpacking and trying to make our apartment our home, we all headed to Mayfair Pizza & Co to meet the other interns in London. I was pleasantly surprised to discover that there were only seven interns undertaking the winter program, as this has allowed us to bond quickly and realise when somebody gets lost at the tube station (like I did). In my defence, the underground tube system is large and highly complex, with the escalators down to the platform stretching to over 15 floors below ground.
London is incredibly fast-paced and culturally diverse, so even a casual walk around the suburb or a short trip on the tube is always an eye-opening experience. Our first weekend was action packed, from trips to the Natural History Museum to tribal clubbing at the Notting Hill Arts Club, as well as spending half our life savings on Oxford Street. Pushing through our jet lag, we tried to maximise every minute and for me, take as many photos as humanely possible to document our adventures. My first few days at myinternship in London were challenging and I found it difficult adapting to the pace of the firm. With each day, however, I became more comfortable in my new work place, and I can’t wait to see what’s in store next.