Leaving for London

T-minus a 9-hour layover

After many, many months of planning, I am finally in JFK airport looking forward to boarding my flight to London. I’ll be studying this semester at Cass Business School in London, as a business exchange student, but first I have to wait out a 9-hour layover. I originally bought my ticket to London about 3 months ago, on a student discount site. If I could go back, I would have just booked straight from the airline and I would have booked direct. Keep that in mind when traveling! It’s already a stressful day there’s no need to make it worse.

After 2 hours, I already feel fairly emotionally and physically drained. As someone who’s never lived outside the state of Maryland, this experience has been somewhat stressful. Every preparation I have had to make leading up this moment was a new adventure whether it be converting my money, finding housing, or packing the 4 months into just a backpack and a suitcase! It’s been such a roller coaster ride of “This is such a dream come true! I’m going to go gallop along the cobble stone streets of London, jet setting into every weekend to Paris.” and “Oh my goodness, what have I done. Take me immediately back to College Park.” I’ve learned both of these feelings are perfectly fine. However as soon as I board my plane to London I expect any feelings of doubt to be left far behind. It’s an adventure of the life time to be studying in Europe for 13 weeks and I’m looking to make the most of all the time I have, because honestly it won’t be enough to do everything!

To me it’s important that I experience the the advertising and arts culture of the city. As a marketing major, it’s only natural for me to enjoy how advertising plays into a culture, and I’m especially excited to experience Piccadilly Circus in person. As a musician for 12 years, I’m also curious how that music plays into life in London and across Europe. This is what drew me to London to study, the rich culture of the arts and marketing!

I am so excited to start my adventure in London, and learn about other cultures while sharing my own!



Hello! My name is Sarah Lodder and I'm a sophomore Marketing and Information Systems double major at University of Maryland. However this semester, I'm trading in College Park for London, as an exchange student at the Cass Business School! My passions include design, traveling, and the performing arts, so you'll likely find my catching a show (or ten) while in London. Having never lived anywhere other than Maryland, I'm so excited to experience everything the U.K. and Europe have to offer!

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