Belated Greetings From the UK!
I would like to start off by apologizing to everyone (especially my family) for not being prompt with my blog entries.
As you can probably guess I have been going non-stop since I landed in London for IFSA-Butler orientation. Firstly, there was a ton of us on this group flight and other study abroad students not affiliated with our program, so the UK Border Agency decided to make us wait for about 3 hours to get our passport stamped…luckily we had most of the day to just get rested and cleaned up. Also, we were told not to nap or go to bed before 10 so naturally a good group of us decided to try out some of the pubs near our hotel.
The rest of the orientation was filled with meeting and basically bonding with other people in the program. Since there was only about 6 of us going to Cardiff, I found myself making friends with students going to UCL which might prove beneficial if I need a place to stay (i.e. a floor to sleep on) if I take a weekend trip to London this semester.
Those of us going to Cardiff got to have extra free says to explore until we went to campus. Therefore, a couple other girls and I walked to the British Museum, the London Tower and the London eye (at night so we could see the city lights). I posted a gallery of my London escapades so you could enjoy the walking tour I did as well as the sight seeing. Oh, fun story, while we were on the London eye we witnessed a proposal! The guy was a true romantic: he rented out the entire pod and waited until they reached the top. Seeing the city lights was the best way to spend my last night in London.
Sadly, I was still so tired on the train to Cardiff that I slept during half of it and missed out on seeing some of the British countryside. I found out that my accommodations are about a 35 minute walk up-and-down a hill to campus. So, naturally, I accepted the challenge the first few days until it proceeded to kick my butt. However, the weather was graciously not soggy, an uncommon characteristic of Wales, so my slow trek to furnish my flat was not so difficult.
The following days were followed by persistent phone and internet troubles (which is another reason why I took so long in posting). On a lighter note, Cardiff has been full of events and parties to keep me occupied and overwhelmed in the best possible way. Music plays everywhere from DJs to street performers – a city after my own heart!
I should probably also mention my living situation. Basically, I live in University Hall Tower, flat 8 in which there are 9 of us total sharing a kitchen but the individual rooms are en-suite (meaning we all have our own bathroom) which is quite common with UK student living accommodations. One thing I found interesting is that there are 3 other American girls in my flat but they are only studying for the semester and leave in December (which I am choosing not to think about because it already makes me sad). My other flat mates consist of 2 Welsh boys, 2 English boys and an English girl. I think we all get on well and have gone out together multiple times. In fact, tomorrow night I think we are officially establishing a Sunday night “family” themed dinner and I truly hope it continues throughout the year.
Term begins in a couple days so I hope that I do not run into the same posting issues and keep in contact at least once a week. But, I am giving you fair warning that it might turn a bit boring if I am as invested in my modules as I plan to be.
Until then Cheers!