[The following is a guest post from Katty, who originally visited London for the first time to improve her English; as a first stop in an ongoing travel adventure which currently has her in Spain]
I have been travelling for almost 16 months now and it all began with my stay in London. Last summer (2012) I spent three months in London for the first stop of my travel adventure. The reason I chose London was primarily to improve my English skills. I knew that if I was going to travel the world then I had to go to an English summer school to improve. I knew of the importance of being able to speak English while travelling and it has turned out to be an invaluable skill. London was the perfect place to start my trip and here is why:
The Iconic Sights
My plan is to see each of the world’s most famous sights, and I can’t say I’ve achieved this without having seen some of London’s most well known landmarks. Known worldwide, visual symbols of British popular culture and some of the world’s most historically significant buildings- yes, London was a perfect place to start, language learning aside. Westminster Abbey where Kings and Queens have been crowed and buried and many royals wed for centuries and the Tower of London a symbol of power for monarchies gone by and the temporary home of many high profile prisoners, to name a few.
The Home of the English Language
English is natively spoken in several countries around the world and I know that I could have chosen any one of them to learn English in. But I wanted to learn where English originally began, in England. Created in 450 AD, it has changed beyond all recognition since. So-called modern English was standardised as it is spoken today in 1500 and the London dialect became the standard.
Now that London is also the home of the new born Royal Baby, learning everything about him and visiting the first placed he visited is another reason to visit London.
Despite spending my summer in unpredictable weather and frequent rain, the huge student population of London do not let it get them down. There are 45 universities in London with a yearly intake of over 100,000 international students and this means that where ever you turn there are students. Much of the nightlife and events reflect that and cater to student needs. London has something for everyone and I was always spoilt for choice when deciding on how to spend my spare time.
London is often described as the world in one city and I now understand what that means. London attracts people from all over the world, both native and non-native English speakers. This meant that I was able to meet and practice my English with people from many different backgrounds and nationalities in my language school and everywhere I went. I could also hear different accents everyday and this helped me to really improve my skills. Everyone can feel at home in London.
Being able to speak English helps me wherever I go. I improved my skills in speaking the language of international business and travel and I did so in one of the best cities in the world.
So don’t wait, go travel to London!