Across the pond

Francesca Romero Siekman

Being in London has been a very different experience for me. I’m originally from Guanajuato, Mexico, so studying at Lawrence already meant studying abroad.
We live in an area of London where most of the embassies are and it’s a really nice neighborhood. Our classes have been amazing because we actually get to see what we learn about.
For instance, we have a fringe theatre class and every week we get to see a play. For our British politics class, we went to visit Parliament while they were in session. We actually got to see the Prime Minister! He unexpectedly decided to show up to make a statement, which was one of the exciting moments of my trip so far!
Before coming to London, I was afraid that it would be hard to get to know the locals, but I have already met so many interesting people. I have heard that British people are cold, but I now know that the opposite is actually true. It might be a little difficult to break the ice but once you’ve done that, they’re very nice.
I come from a very warm culture and I can tell you that British people really know how to hug! They seem to be very interested in what I have to say and I love sharing my experiences from Mexico and the U.S. with them.
It is also very easy to travel from London. The city has five airports and I have taken advantage of most of them. I have already been to Germany, Italy and Ireland.
During one of my trips I was at a club in Berlin and I met a guy who was half-Peruvian and half-German. He lived in Mexico for a year and it turns out that he lived in the same neighborhood as one of my best friends and they actually knew each other! I couldn’t believe it.
And just when I thought the coincidences couldn’t get any stranger, I met a girl in Dublin whose sister lives in Irapuato, my state in Mexico. Her sister Tania went to Mexico to Guanajuato, my city, to Tempo de Valenciana, which is the nearest church to my home – I can see it from almost any window in my house.
She also told me that the reception was at the Bocamina San Ramon, and that is where one of my brothers has all his parties. It made me realize that it is indeed a small world after all!
Right now, we are having our midterms and we are getting ready for our 10-day reading period. I’m very excited and I hope to meet and get to know more interesting people during the rest of my trip.