By Stephanie Martinez, Community Intern
Coming off a successful mid-term season, we sat down with Verto Community member Lolade Oyenuga to learn more about her experience studying abroad so far. Originally from Los Angeles, Lola is currently studying in London with Verto Education. She will be attending Baylor University in the Spring as part of Verto’s Channel Program.
Stephanie: Thanks for taking the time to chat today, Lola! First, tell me about your experience in London – what have been some highlights?
Lola: London is a very big city, and I feel like it has so much to offer. We stay in a very central area with lots of things to see and do.
I appreciate how Black History Month is celebrated in October out here. I appreciate all of the events that happen at Verto with the weekend trips that we have. I’ve gone on almost every trip because they’re really fun. We did moo canoes and I participated in the volunteer event picking up trash while actually in a canal, which is really awesome. We also had a soccer match with the staff, and I participated in the Verto version of “The Great British Bake off”. I won- I’m not a baker at all.
Stephanie: What is the Verto Community like?
Lola: I feel like it’s definitely more of a community than a staff/student vibe. I’m an adult, and I feel like we can really connect with them [staff] and just talk to them like they’re like our friends, in a sense. But there’s also a sense of authority there. I’m not homesick, personally. I know that I was very nervous in the beginning to not make friends or anything or be too quiet or be too shy. Everyone is really nice here. I have made really good friends. I feel like the members in Verto are really nice, and we all like to go out together. For example today, we finished class and then hung out, watching TV and cooking.
Stephanie: Has being in London for the semester impacted your life? Academic interest, career goals, personal goals? If so, how?
Lola: I think London has impacted my academic interest in the sense of, like, I want to go into the medical field, and the fact that they have access to free health care and in the U.S we don’t have free health care is a big difference that I didn’t realize was so big. In my psychology class with Professor Bartoli, we are studying genetics and the human brain. and we watched this film, and it really inspired me to want to go into a more research aspect of the medical field. So it definitely has influenced me to want to still be a part of the medical field, but maybe a different career path in the medical field.
Stephanie: What are some of your favorite spots around the study center or around where you live?
Lola: If you’re looking for good food, I recommend taking the tube and going to Brixton and Camden.You can find a variety of food here, like Asian food, Indian food, and Nigerian food. Upper Angel and Islington have good food places. I’m a big fan of Chilango, which is a Mexican food place. In terms of American food, McDonald’s is okay. I feel like they don’t salt their fries enough, but I do like the variety of the menu at McDonald’s. No Chick-fil-A. Sadly, I really miss Chick-fil-A.
Stephanie: What advice would you give to a Verto community member preparing for their semester in London?
Lola: My advice would be to really embrace yourself into the London culture, regardless of what race you are. I feel like London itself has a lot to offer, and it is a very diverse area. I feel like everyone’s little vibe can be found out here. I also advise everyone to travel while they’re out here. It’s very cheap, and I think you can just see more. I have a trip planned for Amsterdam and Barcelona. And then I’m also planning in December right before we leave, to go to the Canary Islands. Everyone should take the initiative- it’s very fun.
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