By KITTY WALSH
Kathryn Hayden Cusimano graduated from Fordham College at Lincoln Center in 2009 after serving as Editor-in-Chief of the Fordham Observer. Upon moving to London in 2011, Kate continued to work as an assistant editor at BettyConfidential.com and later became an editor for Boticca.com. Kate lives in Surbiton, Surrey with her husband Stuart Masters who she met through mutual friends, while studying abroad in London at the University of Westminster in 2008.
Fordham London: When did you move to London?
Kathryn Cusimano: I moved here officially in the spring of 2011. Prior to that I did a little ‘trial period’, where I moved in with my then boyfriend for about three months to see if it would work, and it worked out really well so I moved here permanently.
Fordham: Do you feel your semester abroad prepared you for the move?
K.C.: Absolutely. The experience I had here as a student was different because I was living in a dormitory I was assigned, in an area I was assigned and was going to classes, so it is an entirely different experience from living in a country on your own as an adult and being able to choose where you live and what you do with your day. While I was here, I was able to get to know London well enough so it wasn’t completely foreign to me when I came back. For example, by then I knew not to say “pants” when I was talking about my jeans, which is something that everyone has to overcome when they come here. I still don’t drive here. Stuart is the designated driver.
Fordham: Are there any particularly “American” things that you miss?
K.C.: There is a bagel shop in the town I grew up in that I absolutely loved and where I had my first job. I have bagels every time I go back to America, and I regret it every time I come back and my trousers don’t fit quite as well! I miss the ocean on the Northeast. It is different, it is not like that anywhere else in the world. I miss the rhythm of New York City, too. A lot of little things.
Fordham: Supermarkets here close on Sundays at 4 or 5 p.m. Did you find it hard to adjust from everything being open late in New York to things closing earlier in London?
K.C.: Yes, very hard. You go grocery shopping on Sundays very, very late in the day, I mean that’s what I always did. My first few weekends here I would always forget and would run out of food in my dorm because I would forget to go shopping before 4 p.m. on Sunday.
Fordham: What was it like leaving everyone you knew to move here?
K.C.: Really difficult. Before I came to study over here I was talking to a professor about studying abroad and expressed how nervous I was, especially leaving my friends and family. He told me “Oh, you’ll make new friends. It will be such an adventure.” I have never forgotten that. As much as I have missed all my friends, and continue to miss my friends and family, I would not trade this for anything.