A Weekend In London: Day III and IV

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This summer, Adelante Abroad will be debuting our pilot program in London, Professional Placements in London. This six-week program runs in May and July with the goal of giving our candidates a valuable career and cultural experience in one of the world’s premier cities. Our Digital Marketing Specialist, Ryan, spent a week in the city to connect with our staff there and run through the program. Here is his account of his experience:

Portobello Road Market

Day III in London, Saturday: Jet lag was definitely a factor Friday night, my second day in London. For that reason, I decided to keep things local for most of Saturday. I elected to ignore the uber tourist heavy spots in London (Big Ben, Tower Bridge, London Eye, etc). Luckily, for myself and future professional placement candidates who will be staying in Notting Hill, Portobello Road Market is a brisk walk away from the housing at Bowden Court. This is an awesome place to spend a morning or afternoon. You’ll find street vendors as well as merchants with actual shops along the street selling anything and everything. Art, souvenirs, clothes, electronics, farm fresh produce, food, drinks, you name it. The overcast skies and rainy weather made it truly feel like a London morning, too. In spite of the rain, the streets were filled with people perusing each shop and street vendor. Portobello Road Market runs the length of Notting Hill from the north to the south. Some notable places were shops selling the work of London street artist Banksy, vintage clothes shops, and Acklam Village. Definitely stop by Acklam Village for lunch. There are plenty of great food options here. There is even a full bar if you fancy getting a drink.

Acklam Village Bar

TIP: When you pack for London, definitely pack less than what you’ve originally planned. There are plenty of shops and markets here like on Portobello Road with enough bargains that you’ll need to make space for new clothes, souvenirs, or art work to bring home… and you’ll definitely need the luggage space. So pack lighter than you anticipate even if it gives you anxiety as you head out!

As mentioned before, jet lag was a real struggle. After Portobello Road Market, I snuck in a quick nap before heading back out to explore the surrounding area of Bayswater/Queensway along Hyde Park. Queensway, especially the stretch between the Bayswater and Queensway tube stations was lively. There was even an underground bowling alley, arcade, and ice rink on this street not to mention a slew of eatery options. Not a bad place to be for any of our future candidates who will be staying in the Bayswater area. Kensington Gardens was also nearby. Good opportunity for a photo op but served as a more functional area for the many locals who were jogging and getting exercise throughout.

As night began to fall, I headed over to the Shoreditch area to check out the City of London area. The area was pretty quiet, mainly filled with office buildings and expensive apartments. It was still worth checking out on foot. One of the great things about this city is that there are so many areas to explore on foot and get lost in. The tube makes it easy to get back to where you need to be from virtually anywhere in Zones 1 and 2. After wandering around for a while in this area and grabbing dinner, it was time to enjoy my Saturday night. I hopped on the tube and headed to a bar (The Dugout Sports Bar/Belushi’s) in the London Bridge area.  This bar is adjacent to a hostel (St. Christopher’s Inn Village London Bridge) making it a great place to meet other international travelers.  After a fun night mingling with some locals and other travelers it was time to find my way back home and call it a night/early morning.

 

Kensington GardensTIP: The underground/tube closes at midnight so if you’re planning on staying out late (and indulging in a bit of alcohol), it would be beneficial to plan your route home before hand especially if you elect to use the bus system. Do a bit of research and see what bus or buses you need/where you need to transfer. Certain bus lines operate 24/7. Another option is getting a taxi or requesting an Uber if you don’t mind shelling out the pounds. 

blog_day3and4_camdenDay IV in London, Sunday: After a late night out on Saturday, I was in need of good food and healthy drinks. Camden Market was the perfect place for that. I hopped on the Central Line heading east, transferred to the Northern line and exited Camden Town. Immediately upon exiting the tube station, I was met with a sea of people. Camden is as happening a spot anywhere in London, especially on a Sunday. On both sides of the street are tons of different shops selling souvenirs, clothes, electronics, and more. This is a great place to get gifts for people back home that isn’t too overpriced. Camden Lock, where the food stands and merchants are, was just a short walk from the station. If you’re a foodie, this is definitely the place for you. Fresh food, drinks, desserts are being made and sold here all day. Cuisine from around the world is represented here as well; Spanish, Jamaican, Filipino, Thai, Peruvian, Argentine, and much more. They even have a cereal bar there and it is exactly how it sounds. A bar that serves breakfast cereals, no joke. During my day there, I decided to go with a fruit smoothie, fresh coconut water, and a the best shrimp sandwich I’ve ever had… and it’s not even close. Camden Lock also has a ton of different shops and vendors selling clothes, books, records, jewelry, art, trinkets, and everything in between. You could easily spend the better part of your day there as I did. On the way back to Notting Hill, to finish off the day, I decided to take the bus back instead of the tube.

TIP: While the tube is quick, easy, and convenient, it is really a good idea to take a bus once in a while if you have the time. The one disadvantage of the tube is that, since it is underground, there’s not much to look at while you’re zipping around the city. Riding around on the bus lets you fully take in each neighborhood and borough. You may even discover some cool spots to come back to later!

Camden Lock Entry

Be on the lookout for my next entry where I wrap up my experience in London. Cheers!

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Ryan

Digital Marketing Specialist, Adelante Abroad

Adelante in London: Day I and II

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Ryan, our Digital Marketing Specialist, spent a week in London ahead of our first ever Professional Placements in London program. This summer, we will be running two six-week pilot programs in London, England in May and July. The goal is for our candidates to gain valuable career experience in a field of their interest while experiencing life and culture in one of the world’s premier cities. Here is his account of his experience:

 

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Day I in London, Thursday: I was met at London Heathrow in the early afternoon by the airport pick-up service enlisted to pick up our Professional Placements in London (PPIL) candidates. It couldn’t have been a smoother process. Immediately after baggage claim, I was able to spot my driver (the white board sign on it with my name definitely helped). The ride was a brisk 45 minutes or so made more enjoyable by my friendly driver, a pleasant man from Sri Lanka. During the drive, he even swung by and pointed out David and Victoria Beckham’s house. Not long after, we pulled up to my housing for the week located in Notting Hill (yes, the neighborhood made famous by the film of the same name starring Julia Roberts and Hugh Grant).

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After checking in and getting settled in my room, I was immediately off to familiarize myself with what would be my surroundings for the next week. My first objective was to locate Notting Hill Gate, the nearest tube or underground station. Trust me, getting to know the tube and various lines traversing about the city will make your life a lot easier while in London. Upon arriving at Notting Hill Gate (only a 5 minute walk from housing), it was time to purchase and load up an Oyster card. Oyster cards are what you will use for the tube and bus systems; there are many different plans you can purchase depending on how long you will be in London. In my case, I purchased a 7-day pass allowing me to use my card on any tube/ bus for 7 days. At the tube station, I also made sure to grab a tube map. Your Oyster Card and tube map will be your best friend for the duration of your time in London. I can guarantee it.

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After picking up your Oyster Card, if your plan allows as mine did, I recommend finding a place you want to go to and practicing navigating the tube, transfers, etc. In my case, I chose to head to the Picadilly Circus/Soho/Chinatown area. In my opinion, London is the most masterfully planned city as far as ease in navigating throughout the city, especially in Zones 1 and 2. They really make it easy with ample stops, stations, and lines. Once you get the hang of the tube, it will almost become second nature to you… That is if you have any sort of experience traveling or finding your way around big cities. If not, just practice visiting other areas in the city… Areas that require you to transfer lines if you can. You’ll be a pro in no time!

After ensuring I was comfortable with the tube, I decided to head back to Notting Hill and explore the surrounding area on foot. This is a good idea to do especially if you’ll be staying in one area for any extended period of time. Scope out where food options are, banks/ATMs, pharmacy, market, coffee shop, and anything else you need. Luckily, all this exists in Notting Hill! Once I got the lay of the land so to speak, I wandered around the surrounding neighborhoods on foot; Hyde Park, Kensington, Holland Park, and Kensington Gardens before finally making it back to Notting Hill. This wrapped up a lengthy and tiresome travel day and first day in London.

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Day II in London, Friday: Friday morning I was picked up from my accommodation at Bowden Court by Charlotte, our London Director of Programs. We wanted to run through a sample orientation and all of the introductions our PPIL candidates will experience upon their arrival in London. I have to say, all of our candidates are in great hands with Charlotte. Her knowledge of the city and culture is expansive and will be a great resource for candidates if they need it… Not only with the city but their placements as well. After wrapping up business matters, I was lucky enough to have Charlotte take me around the city for a bit. Our first stop was an amazing restaurant/ bar in nearby Kensington called The Churchill Arms. This place is exactly how anyone would envision an English restaurant from the outside and inside decor, but it was actually an authentic Thai restaurant! This was a pleasant surprise. This is just one example of the kind of hidden gems to be discovered throughout the city.

Next, we took a quick bus ride to Knightsbridge to walk down to the Borough of Kensington and Chelsea. On the way, we passed the Science Museum, Natural History Museum, and the Victoria & Albert Museum. You could easily spend a day hopping between these three FREE museums which are all within a stone’s throw away from each other. After passing these museums we arrived at the Borough of Kensington & Chelsea. This is an extremely affluent area with some of the most expensive flats in London. It was amazing to see all the prime real estate in this area. At the end of this tour of Kensington/Chelsea, my time with Charlotte had ended. It was time to head back to Notting Hill. For dinner, I took advantage of the meals included at Bowden Court (breakfast, dinner during the week; breakfast, lunch on weekends). I’m not going to lie to you, the food was ok. It definitely isn’t disgusting but wasn’t amazing either… but then again, London isn’t exactly known for its fine dining or unique cuisine. Regardless, the option to take advantage of a free meal is a great thing to have in your back pocket. After dinner, jet lag hit me like a ton of bricks. Depending on what time you get into London and how much you managed to sleep coming across the pond, jet lag will surely be a factor at some point so be prepared!

So in summary, my main takeaways from my first few days in London… Pick up your Oyster Card, get to know the tube, and you’ll hear it the entire time you’re there but MIND THE GAP!

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Be on the lookout for my next entry where I recap what I did over the weekend (Saturday and Sunday) in London. Cheers!

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Ryan

Digital Marketing Specialist, Adelante Abroad

Meet Our New Social Media & Marketing Intern: Lauren G.

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Meet Lauren Gandara, Adelante Abroads new Social Media and Marketing
Intern! Lauren joined our team in February and is enjoying working with us here in Seal Beach, California. Lauren is a full time student who also travels, making her the perfect addition to Adelante Abroad. We recently asked her questions on life, traveling, and being a student. Here are some of her responses:

-What is something you always pay attention to about a new culture/place when you travel? When traveling I like to focus on the way different countries/cultures provide for their citizens. On a recent trip to Korea I found it interesting the way they provided for the people of their country in transportation compared to here in my hometown of Long Beach. While Long Beach has a great bus & railway system it is still not as developed and easy to use as South Korea’s.

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seoul-lauren-h-Where is your favorite place you’ve traveled to? What is next on your list? So far my favorite place I have traveled to is South Korea. Korea has integrated technology into daily life, making every experience much more interesting. I found free photo booths, interactive maps, and moving walkways in multiple places. I was able to stay there for 4 weeks, which really helped me to experience their culture. Relying on their public transportation, eating authentic Korean cuisine (which is so much better than Korean BBQ in Westminster, CA), and going to popular locations really caused me to feel as though I had lived in Korea.

Germany is the next trip I have on my agenda. Having traveled much of the United States and South Korea, I am excited to explore Germany and European countries this summer.

-Where do you see yourself career wise in 5 years? Currently I am a undergraduate student at Colorado State University – Global Campus working towards my Bachelors in Communications. In five years I hope to have finished my Masters degree in Marketing and be working for a large company as either their communications director or their social media and marketing specialist. I hope to have built my resume working with marketing in international business as well as gain valuable experience through traveling.


koreasculpture-adelante-abroad-Do you think traveling and seeing the world can benefit someone in their career path?
Of course! I think that traveling and seeing different cultures can greatly impact someone’s view of life as well as improve their independence. When traveling to new and unfamiliar places things are bound to happen that you weren’t expecting. Handling these situations causes a person to become more independent and experienced in confronting difficult circumstances. Being able to manage unexpected situations can greatly impact an individual’s career. Seeing the world helps experience new cultures and see the way other people live their normal daily life. Involving yourself in other ways of life can help you to understand that not everyone has grown up the same way you have. In my experience, this has helped me to work better with people from all different backgrounds.
-If you had to pick one Adelante Abroad program to participate in, which one would you pick and why? If I were to choose an Adelante Abroad program it would have to be Marketing in Barcelona, Spain. I would love to travel to Spain and become captivated by their culture. I also would like to improve my spanish. While I have some experience speaking spanish, needing to use the language would really help me learn faster. Also traveling solo to a unfamiliar place would really help me to enhance my independence. But honestly… who wouldn’t want to live in Spain for a few months?!

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Looking to do an internship abroad? We can help you out! Check all of the international internship options we offer.

Summer 2015: Our Top 5 Program Destinations

Summer is the time to be abroad. We offer some amazing programs that will get you overseas and boost your resume or CV… Here are our top 5 Summer programs in pictures!


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Top5Madrid

 

 

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Top5Oaxaca

 

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Click on any of the pictures below to view their respective programs.