Creating a family and home in London


Jaden Amos and Jacob deCastro stand next to a black-and-white replica of the famous painting, "The Scream," imitating the subject's expression.
Juniors Jaden Amos and Jacob deCastro pose in front of the British Museum. (Courtesy photo)

By the second day in London, I had already called my mom crying on the Tube begging to go home. I stood on the platform, sobbing, and felt everyone’s eyes on me.

I thought to myself, “If I am already crying, how will I make it the next six weeks?”

It was cold. I didn’t pack any shoes other than sandals. Oh, and I realized I didn’t have a coat or a jacket.

As I laid in my bed crying and trying to call my mom repeatedly, my flatmate, Carson, walked in asking me to hang out. Then I received a bunch of texts from some of the other IU students on the trip asking if I wanted to hang out or if I needed anything.

My homesickness was quickly cured with a nap and some shared laughs with my flatmates. Also spending $50 on four pints of Ben and Jerry’s ice cream because I needed a piece of home at any cost.

Although I was the first person to break down and admit my homesickness, I will likely not be the only one. Many of us have never spent this long outside of the country and many have never been out of the country at all.

Without the support from our friends, this trip could be really difficult. But with the help of 14 other people, we all found our internships, found the grocery stores, found doctors and also discovered that living in London for the next six weeks will be possible. Of course, I am looking forward to further discovering London and what this city has to offer, but I am most excited to grow closer to these people.

I realized it doesn’t matter what our major or concentration is, where we are interning or what flat we’re staying in — we are all friends. Spending time in a different country can be scary, but being able to rely on some people from home makes it bearable.

London is a big city, but my small flat gives me someplace to call home and feel like I have a family for the next few weeks.