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Makayla Taylor studied creative writing in London, England.
She's is a Writing Studies B.A. major with minors in English and Digital, Literature & Design.
Where did you study abroad?
University of Roehampton in London, England, through CIS Abroad.
What type of course are you taking?
Hidden London, a creative writing course centered around London.
What was your most memorable experience?
I think my most memorable experience is hanging out with my new group of friends. Starting out we had gone to the Queen's Birthday (which wasn't her real birthday) and saw the parade that only happens once a year. We ended up seeing the Queen on our second full day of being in England, which was crazy. Throughout the trip we went out more and explored different parts of the city. I've explored multiple markets with them, found delicious bakeries and cafes, watched "Phantom of the Opera" and "Les Miserables" performed in the West End, and so many other incredible things. It's difficult to pick just one memory, but everything I have done was memorable because of the people I did it with.
Just have fun and stay relaxed! Don't go into this with high expectations, because if you expect everything to go perfectly, you'll be disappointed. Also, if you're in London, make sure you explore not just central London, but the outer edges like the Southwest (Richmond Park is absolutely lovely), or the North (Highgate Cemetery was a strange field trip, but it's in a beautiful part of town.)
Also, go visit the markets! Portobello Market seems like it spans over a mile long. It's so large and was the main setting for a great British movie ("Notting Hill"). Spitafields Market is a lot of fun and near the East End/Whitechapel area which is infamous for Jack the Ripper. Camden Market is also great and probably one of my favorite markets that I was able to visit out of the seven I went to.
There's so much culture around this huge city, and it's easy to be intimidated by the huge buildings and all of the people rushing past, but take a deep breath and just know you will figure it out.
What would you say to someone considering study abroad?
Do it! I met a great group of people who I can now call my friends. I've only known them for a mere three weeks, but it feels like I have known them for much longer. It's also great because going to a completely different place is a step out of your comfort zone, and it'll help you grow as a person. There are so many experiences you can't even dream of having that are waiting for you to explore.
Learn more about UMD's Study Abroad programs.