Hey, my name is Maba Jarbou, and I form the Netherlands. And I like to share my experience with you about my internship in London. In 2013 I had the opportunity to do an internship abroad. For three months, and had a wonderful time, maybe the best time of my life! In this article, I like to share my journey for those who want to do their internship abroad and especially in London. In this article will give my practical tips and insights about my time in London.
Let me first tell you why that I choose London above all other great cities around the world. My love for London started during my first school trip. A few years earlier. Firstly, I was very fond of the architecture of the city. Secondly, people seem to look so, friendly. And finally, everything is so, diverse. After the first trip, I made it my mission to go back and to live there.
So, I had a lot of planning. I had to find a company where I could to my internship program. It was not an easy task, because I didn’t have any knowhow where to start. I school didn’t have any contacts during that time. So, I was on my own. Google was now my best friend. I searched for the terms: ‘internship London’, ‘Best place to do an internship in London’ etc. I found some nice companies but the catch was that I had to pay and agency to facilitate an agreement. And I didn’t have the extra money. The thing was that I had to pay for my whole internship myself. So, I had to look elsewhere. Now I had a new strategy. Firstly, make a list of companies where I like do my internship, secondly, gather all the contact information that I can find, thirdly, study each company their unique selling point and other benefits that maybe be useful later, and finally sent them all a custom motivation letter and CV. The next day I had a Skype invitation with an executive manager of John Lewis Oxford Street. And believe it or not, this was also the company on the of my list. After the Skype meeting, I had an internship place.
Trip to London
I chose to take the plane to London. The choose was easily made because I had no car and had no one who had the time to bring me to London. The airline company that I took was British Airways. The reason was the extra baggage that I had with me.
The thing about a good place is that you first like to see it with your own eyes before you sign the contract. In that time there was no Airbnb and claire place where you can find reviews, in my beliefs. I had the luck that my uncle and ante live in London. So, that helped me with finding a good apartment in my price range. My ante and I found some addresses on the internet. And she went to the apartment on my behalf to see if it was good. After a few, apartments we found one in the centre.
Now that I have a place to stay. Let me figure out who to travel around the city. One of the deals that I had with John Lewis is that they will cover my transport costs. That’s a major in for me. Now I can travel for free around London. It would cost me around 200 pounds monthly. Without this deal, I would go on the bus. Luckily, you can take the bus as an alternative. Only it will take you a bit longer and especially during rush hour.
I had a great time especially the nightlife in London. I like to share the places I when to and why those places. London knows a lot of wonderful venues to visit. The most place on my list is also touristic places. The reason that I visited these places is that there were also other students from around the world. The vibe was good and always new people to meet. I have the short version of my list below:
If you are looking for a place where you can stay till the sunrise then you are looking for The Fabric. This club is one of the placed that will open its doors after 02:00 AM. In London, the bars close at midnight and the clubs around 02:00 AM. But there are some exceptions like The Fabric
If you like to dance on hip-hop, rap and the latest hit bangers then you have to go at least once to Tiger Tiger. Here you will meet also a lot of locals that like to swing on the beats. If you ask me there is a nice mix of locals, tourists and students. Always love to go to Tiger Tiger and believe me I will go home with a sweaty t-shirt of all the dancing.
Expensive but a nice place to go out. I managed to know a guy the put me on the guestlist. other otherwise I recommend you to go early, then it’s for free and you can join the happy hour. If you step in for the first time in the Loop it looks like an ordinary bar. But if you go downstairs you will find yourself back in time. The interior is like the 60s and 70s with a light floor and a DJ booth.
If you manage to have time you must fist KOKO club. This club is in a former multi-level theatre like in the 1600s. It is also outside of the centre so, there are more students and locals. And before midnight their plays a live band. But I don’t know if that’s the case.
As a telephone provider, I went with Vodafone. I don’t know why I choose for Vodafone because there advertisement was everywhere. Maybe that’s the reason. One thing with Vodafone that I Liked was the Freebees that I collected. And with Vodafone, you have hotspots in the metro, that very handy. I also liked to see some dutch movies and show on Netflix. Therefore, I used a VPN server to stream the Dutch Netflix version. Using a VPN is also go to sure your data on your phone or laptop. So, I recommend you using a VPN. I don’t know with VPN server I had, but there are plenty of VPN servers to pick from.
Food and Drinks
One of the benefits of living in London is for me the food. I like to taste different dishes. And preferably from different cuisines. Like from Vietnam, Jamaica, Japan, Thailand, Afrika, Portugal, Argentina, Mexico and of course form Great Britain. One of the places in London were you can find all of these fine cuisines is Westfield Stratford City is a shopping centre with a large restaurant area. Also, recommend you to go at least ones to Nando’s and Meatliquor. These are my favoured fast-food restaurants in London.
I drink 97% water and the other 2,99% is juice, cola, beer and liquor and wine. I bought once a week a few litre bottles of water. And about the beers, I toke the one that was on this discount. With the other drinks, I do remember. But what I do remember is that drinking at the bar or club is expensive in London. Better start early, that you can join the happy hour. All drinks are half of the price. I London is common to start early because the bars close at midnight.
IT’S EXPENSIVE TO LIVE IN LONDON. So, I recommend you to safe money upfront and the application for the Erasmus scholarship. You will then get once 1000 euro. I also recommend you to ask your back for a student credit card. The usage of a credit card is more common in London than in The Netherlands. I don’t know if it is common, but I had to pay my rand every two weeks by cash.
Maba’s bonus tips
See here below my seven extra tips. that may be useful in your next adventure.
7# I was lucky that I had ante that is good at English. She helps me with the grammar and spelling control of my motivation letter and CV. I recommend you to find someone who can help you.
6# To find the best affordable price for airlines I would use Google Flight.
5# You can always ask friends and family that are visiting you to bring your other stuff. So, that you don’t have to bring everything by yourself.
4# If you want to budget on your accommodation, I would recommend you to look at hostels and student complexes.
3# If you want to safe a lot of money when you want to go out. Pre-Drink Party!
2# The best and cheapest way is the night bus.
1#Go once out alone and you will see how it is to make new friends.