Marta de Beukelaer Sanchis
ESC International Volunteer
Before coming here I was just a young girl surviving her first year at University. Also my first year living in a new city, so it was a year of change to say the least. After discovering I loved living in a city, I decided to spend the summer in an even bigger one. So, I ended up in London.
Normally, it takes a while for me to adapt to new environments. I love having a routine in which I know how to organize myself and so change often disrupts this. My first days weren’t easy, I was lost with pretty much everything. The UK is very different to my familiar surroundings back in Spain. As time has passed, now I can say I am almost at a perfect place of peace.
During this time I’ve noticed that I have skills I never knew of. These are helping me complete assignments as a part of my volunteering agenda. The first and most important skill is my English. Coming from a country in which the English attainment is not that high, I can now appreciate my ability to speak the language…. turns out I’m pretty fluent! Moreover, I was really negative about my own way of communicating. So I welcome this new, more positive attitude with welcome arms. Another skill I have enhanced from the past is my independence. It has been two, maybe three years ago since I moved out for Uni. Since I have done many things on my own and started to embrace this independence and individuality. Now in London I can identify this progress. All of these skills are definitely aiding my experience at Sculpt.
Some skills I have picked up thanks to my work with Sculpt, of course, some English language and communication improvement. Practising my English has introduced me to new words, phrases and grammatical structures. I have learnt to embrace new routines in a job I’ve never done before and place I have never visited. This, to my surprise, has helped me to be more organized than I was before. Some skills I’m looking forward to developing are being able to become much more creative in terms of work and leisure. Being able to coexist in an office alongside a working team is also something that I’m looking forward to getting used to.
One thing I’ve noticed in London since I came here is how different it is compared to Spain and other European countries I’ve visited. Life in my city is so unalike. So, at first it was a big shock although, I’m having a great time discovering new places and activities. I’m lucky that my accommodation is near a lot of amazing and beautiful sights. The first plan I would recommend is just walking around the various and diverse neighbourhoods, streets and roads, just looking at the different houses, little shops, street art… Ones I would definitely recommend the most are walking around Portobello Road Market and Camden Market with the amazing views like Primrose Hill. If you go at sunset to the park beside Tower Bridge there is also an amazing view; and lastly go to Canary Wharf and watch all the modern, impressive buildings which surround the river and little park. It feels like a different world completely.
If you come to London, be prepared for high prices, which you will get used to with time and discovering smaller, local places can save some spending. London is surely a city with activities for everybody, any age and I also want to highlight its diversity- that’s what makes it so special.