One Month

Tomorrow it will be the 4 week anniversary of the day I walked out my door in Grand Forks to set sail for this crazy unpredictable journey. 4 weeks since I’ve seen my family, friends, dog, the Qdoba’s, everything I’ve ever known. Surprisingly I have rarely felt any sort of homesickness. Of course I miss the people I left, but I have met some of the most incredible people the world has to offer and I have my own little family here that helps mask any sort of longing for home I might have.

We are slowly but surely adapting to British life, even though we continue to make mistakes and embarrass ourselves, but that’s inevitable. Apart from dropping my phone in the toilet at a club, leaving my bus pass and key on the bus (a nice maintenance man knocked on my door to return them), and losing my student ID not even a week after having it, I haven’t had any bad luck!!!! So typical.

Today at 9 PM we are departing for our first big trip to Amsterdam. I am extremely excited and am planning on treating my phone like it’s my first born child to avoid any more mishaps.

School here is very different; it is mostly lectures a couple times a week with no real homework/assignments due during the week. This is a huge change from home, as if you miss one day of class you lose points and are already way behind.  All the big work is during exam time, which is also way longer than the one week we have for finals in America. I obviously enjoy the way things are done here way more, although it might turn me into a lazy pile. Oh well!

I am still waiting for reality to hit me that this is really it, this is what I have been waiting years for. But maybe it already has? The feeling of contentment, happiness, and looking out at the ocean knowing I am exactly where I’m supposed to be. I can feel myself changing as a person for the better and I love it.

Sorry for the cheesiness, once in a blue moon I stop being hilariously funny and get a little sentimental. I truly am having the time of my life, time is flying by and it really needs to slow down. That’s all I have for ya for now, here are some pictures that I either took in the last three days since getting a new phone or stealing them from others as I lost all the ones I took before that. ūüôā

See you soon!

Rosie

 

 

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Home Sweet Swansea

Hello from across the pond!

If you haven’t already guessed by now, I made it to Swansea and have almost adjusted to the 6 hour time difference (almost). So much has happened in the last week I don’t even know where to begin. The journey over was pretty smooth, apart from my passport being unable to scan pretty much the minute we got to the airport. It’s probably because the old lady wasn’t scanning it fast enough, but whatever. I had two seats to myself on the flight over, but still only caught a couple hours of sleep. I watched my favorite funny gal Amy Schumer’s stand up show for like 4th time, ate all the food they gave me, and listened to some jams. Before I knew it we landed in London. I then got on a bus to Swansea, and was able to catch some Z’s on the 4.5 hour trek.

Upon arriving at the main bus station, I was starting to freak. I had no idea how I was going to get from the bus station to the student village, as all of my planning beyond this point was basically “I’ll figure it out when I get there.” Well, now was the time to figure it out. With about 100 pounds of luggage in my hands and on my back, I made my way to the help desk and from there I actually figure out which bus to take, despite my extreme lack of any sense of direction.

The Hendrefoelan Student Village is great, in our flat we have 4 gals, with three empty rooms that may or may not be filled later. It was pretty intimidating being one of the only international students who came alone and not knowing a single person, but everyone welcomed me in from the very beginning and it has been so much fun forming new friendships with wonderful people.

Monday was the start of our Pre-Sessional class, British Culture and Politics Since 1945. It’s main goal is to get us all up to speed on what everyone around is talking about, so we don’t look like dumb Americans and can hopefully not get last place at Pub Quizzes. We took a field trip to the charming little town of Mumbles on the Gower Peninsula, which is just a short bus ride from Swansea- with some beautiful stops along the way.

 

 

 

That same day a few of us decided to attempt to attend the Swansea-Watford City soccer game !!! Despite the long process of actually getting to Liberty stadium, it was amazing and Swansea won 1-0!

Our British Culture and Politics class has been going well, it consists of lectures discussing the decline of Britain after the war through how the public reacted to it-mainly through film and music. We have one more week of this class before “real” classes begin Monday, February ¬†1st. I am looking forward to classes starting but also enjoying the freedom we have now.

On Saturday we visited the city of Bath, England- which is a World Heritage Site and absolutely beautiful. It’s about a two hour bus ride from Swansea, but the landscapes along the way make the time fly by. We took a tour through the actual Roman Bathhouse, then spent the rest of the day walking around the city. A few of us were very adamant on getting a sweet photo from a high elevation, so we walked up about a million and a half stairs-only to find that every great photo op was blocked by trees or buildings. Thanks a lot, nature.

Today (Monday) we have a break from class. We are planning on hitting the beach with our swimsuits and sandboxes and getting a tan! Just kidding, I am going to wear about 7 layers of clothes and try not to complain too much about being cold like I usually do. Nevertheless I am so thrilled as I haven’t seen Swansea’s beach yet. This weekend we head to Cardiff (the capital of Wales) for our last field trip planned through our British Politics class. I am very excited, although I am excited for pretty much everything we do even if it is just going to Tesco to get groceries.

I have enjoyed every single minute here, and I look forward to every single one I have left. When I was saying goodbye to my Mom at the airport, she hugged me and said “All your dreams are coming true.”She was right, but to say that all my dreams are coming true is an understatement. Dreams are scenarios you make up in your mind of certain experiences you wish to happen. So far, these last 10 days have exceeded any sort of dream I could possibly make up in my head. Even when I’m tired, cold, lost (which is often), or any other feeling that usually leads to a sour memory- I am still having the time of my life.

Here’s to many, many more memories to be made. Thanks for reading !!!!

See you soon,

Rosie

 

 

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Pre Departure

(Five days until departure)

 

Five days. Five flipping days. If you know me personally, you know that the idea of studying abroad has consumed my thoughts and actions for about 4 years now. It’s actually a large reason why I chose to stay in Grand Forks and attend UND (savin’ money yeah!). So to be able to say that the plane from Minneapolis to London-then a four hour bus ride to Swansea-  departs in 126 hours is completely surreal. Although it feels surreal, my bank account doesn’t lie, I have a ticket to be on that plane!

I surprisingly don’t have too many emotions flooding me through me just yet. I am obviously excited, but with such a prolonged wait-time it feels as though I will never stop waiting. When your brain gets used to something it’s hard to let go of that particular mindset. I have gone on a few very exciting trips in my short life- including a school trip to Iceland and Germany, and then a recent voyage with my American BFF to France to visit my French BFF(we’re the three best friends that anyone could have)- and I know from these experiences that it doesn’t really “hit me” until my feet hit the pavement of my destination. So, I guess I just have to wait and enjoy the further emotional void of this new reality.

My days have consisted of  obsessively packing, re-packing, packing again, packing everything into a lighter suitcase, then re-packing. The wise thing to do to avoid this repetitive and quite unnecessary method may have been to leave all my preparation for the few days leading up to Friday, but I never claimed to be wise so I did it all about three weeks early. ūüôā Side note: Fitting my entire life into one suitcase, a backpack,and a carry-on rolly bag thing, was the most difficult thing I have ever done. My heart broke with every clothing item I was forced to take out.

The next few days will include seeing as much of crazy friends as possible, quality time with my Mother, eating at all my favorite restaurants, and  forcing my dog to cuddle with me (I haven’t yet broke the news to him, it’s not an easy subject and he’s sensitive). I do not wish for these last few days to pass quickly, as I have many tough “see you laters” to say, and I plan to cherish every minute. I am not so naive to believe that I won’t get homesick over there, as I am lucky enough to have strong relationships with people(and dogs) who I know I will miss at times.

With all that being said, Let’s party! Five days!

See you soon,

Rosie

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My Cooper nugget

 

 

 

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