Confusion All Around
Well, the Welcome Party ended up being really fun! Everyone was dressed in their residence hall’s color and very spirited about it, I must say. My flatmates and I went and danced around together for about three hours until 2am–loads of fun, but very tiring! As a result, yesterday was mainly a catch up and chill sort of day. We all slept really late and then a few of us went down to the Societies Fair and then on to Tesco to buy more food for the week. It seems like we are going to Tesco nearly every day for one thing or another!
We all stayed in last night (and tonight), too. I think everyone has needed a break, especially the “freshers,” as they are called–a lot of them, being away from home for the first time and having free reign, have participated quite enthusiastically and gone out every single night. So now there is quite a lot of “Freshers Flu” going around! Eep, better make sure I am eating my fruits and veggies!
Today began the madness of enrolling in courses–and as a study abroad student, it is not easy here. This is mainly due to a major difference in our academic systems–students here only take subjects in their chosen course of study, and that is all, unlike in America where we tend to take classes both within and outside of our chosen majors. Here, enrollment for classes is not done through an online system, and the timetables of when classes are offered aren’t online! This isn’t a problem if you are taking courses within a single department, because they are all scheduled so as not to conflict and you don’t need to worry. But if you’re taking courses in multiple departments, essentially you must run around from department to department, getting signatures from staff members to approve the course and cross-checking when the courses are scheduled for! It is very maddening.
I’ve gotten all my courses in History and Ancient History approved-tomorrow morning I have to meet with the Welsh department bright and early, and then I should be able to take my form to the International Office and enroll online and know my final schedule!
To unwind after the crazy afternoon sorting out classes, my flatmate Molly and I made dinner and then attended International Students Quiz Night, like a pub quiz essentially, where we were grouped with four other students–two from India, a boy from France, and a girl from Germany. Our team, named “Team Cwtch” (cwtch is a Welsh word that means a cuddle or a warm, safe place), came in third overall, and also won the award for having the best team name! As a prize we each received a voucher for a free pizza of any size, so I think I see a flat pizza party in our future…
Tomorrow there is quite a lot going on–course registration, a 2-3 hour Scavenger Hunt across the city for International Students, the Sports Fair, and the National Companies Fair. I also have a number of chores to do and errands to run, so this week is really going to fly by! And then we begin classes on Monday…how scary/exciting!
A final word–one thing that has been driving me rather bonkers here in the UK is the way the taps for hot and cold water are entirely separate. Because of this, it is extremely difficult to get warm water, and more often than not one ends up getting burnt because the hot water tap runs too hot and the cold water tap very cold, and they are too far apart to easily mix!