Danielle Costello and I ventured to see the one and only Justin Bieber perform in London.  They held a free performance for those who got up at a crazy early time in the morning to get a wristband.  Luckily I was out of town so Danielle was dedicated enough to go stand in the cold at 4am to get wristbands.

For this free Justin Bieber event you had to arrive at least 3 hours ahead of time to get guaranteed a good view of the biebs.  We arrived to a bunch of screaming girls; some were crying if they hadn’t received a wristband, others had his name written all over their faces as well as t-shirts with his face on it.  We went and found our spot in the cold and rain to wait for him to turn on the Christmas lights and to sing songs from his new Christmas album.

While standing among the singing fans who unfortunately knew every word to every song played by the pre-show DJ, they noticed Danielle’s and my American accents.  Their curiosity allowed them to question us if Justin Bieber was popular in America, or if we just came all the way from the US to see his free performance at this mall in London.  At first we thought about saying we did travel a little under 4,000 miles to see him turn on Christmas lights and sing a few songs, but told them how we were studying abroad.  Considering they were mostly around the age of 16 they were very amused with our accents and everything with America.  They also asked if we have heard of people such as Justin Timberlake, Katy Perry, and other celebrities.  We informed them that they had just named all American celebrities and also told them that Justin Bieber is in fact from our side of the pond as well so he is just as popular in the US.

Meeting people from different cultures and countries is a daily occurrence and it is interesting to hear their perspective on the US and what questions they have about it.  Some people are curious whether the lifestyles are the same or if we had a big adjustment.  Others are curious if the media and entertainment have the same popular stars.  Every time someone finds out I am from the Chicago area they always respond with, “The Windy City!”.  It is funny to have people pick up on our accents and wonder what we have ventured to London for.  Overall, it was a very fun experience and worth the waiting and screaming Bieber fans.  I hope to see more concerts in London before I go.

Brianna Simkowski is studying abroad in London, England, with the Foundation for International Education (FIE).