I participated in the Intern in Britain program after I graduated from LSU. I spent 6 months interning in London, and traveled throughout the UK and Europe as often as I could.
How I got my Intern in Britain Visa
I got my Intern in Britain visa from BUNAC. This allowed me to take an internship in England, Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland for up to 6 months. Once I got to London to start my internship, I attended an orientation to walk me through everything I needed to do to get a National Insurance number and a bank account.
Living in London
Before I left the United States, I booked a week’s stay in a hostel for when I first arrived into London, and luckily I found what would be flat for the next 6 months within a few days. To say it was small in U.S. standards would be an understatement, but it was relatively cheap and it was mine. I quickly learned that I really didn’t need the extra space as the local pub is like an extension of your living space – a place to pop in for a few minutes (or hours) several times a week to catch up with my neighbors, have a pint or two and grab a bite to eat. London also has amazing parks and museums for when you feel like you want a little extra space.
Four words will solve almost all of your London transport needs: Get an Oyster Card! The Oyster card gives you access to the London Underground and Buses which will take you all over the city, and even out to Heathrow Airport.
Getting Out of Town
As amazing as London weekends are, I made sure to take as many quick getaways as I could. Not only is getting to the rest of Europe very fast, but with the right planning you can get some pretty cheap flights and accommodation. Paris and Brussels are super easy to get to on Eurostar (the train that goes under the English Channel), but there are cheap flights to the continent as well... Just a word of advice - getting to any of the 5 London aiports for early morning flights can be super expensive... the trains and Tube don't run overnight, and a taxi will probably cost you more than your plane ticket. Also, you can't miss exploring the rest of Great Britain. Edinburgh and Brighton are two of my favorites, and both can easily be reached by train. You can also get good deals on car rentals, but be sure to factor in the higher cost of gas and the added stress of driving on the other side of the car and road.