Alternative Migrant Stories – Giulia Villari

My 3-years in London

I have been living and working in London for almost three years now and I think it is one the most welcoming and exciting city I have ever been. When I left Italy to start my PhD at KCL I thought it would have been really hard to get used to live in such a big metropolis. Now I can definitely say that I feel at home here.

First, people from all over the world live in London and this makes a foreigner never feel alone. Even if you are far from your family, this is a place where you can share different experiences and get to know different points of views from an amazing variety of people. This is the aspect I like the most about living here. Your ideas change and become surprisingly open.

A photo of the authour on the South Bank of London
A view of the Houses of Parliament from the South Bank

Obviously none of it could be possible without such a kind and welcoming attitude of British people. Everything (except for the tube…) runs perfectly. I feel secure in London and I can rely on services and people. I met incredibly kind people and made warm and loyal friends.

Nevertheless living in London is expensive, but cheaper shared flats are available for students. Furthermore, students do not pay taxes to live here and for other really important things such as transport; salaries are good and life in general is a lot of fun. Although not everyone is willing or ready to open up to such a wide range of options and people, I reckon the possibility to experience it is just unique.

Giulia Villari, PhD in Biomedical and Health Sciences, KCL.

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