First week at University of Leicester, UK


Hello everyone, I’ve been gone a little over a week now and I finally have a chance to update you on how I’ve been doing. The journey from Chicago to Leicester was a long one, leaving for O’Hare Airport at 1:30pm on Monday, September 27th, and after flight delays, deplaning, re-boarding, arriving, waiting for the coach etc, we arrived in Leicester at about 2:30pm local time on Tuesday the 28th. And we arrived to accommodation that was in disarray. Meaning that they weren’t prepared at all, and until Saturday evening I couldn’t even get into my room and stayed in a temporary one. The stress of a new place, feeling unsettled, and knowing no one made for a difficult first few days. And the days were filled with lots of seminars about things like life in Leicester, the grading system in the UK, and that if we skip lecture without excuse the UK Border Agency will kindly send us back home. Thanks for the warning…

Aside from all the not so good things, there were quite a few positives. I took a walking tour of Ancient Leicester and discovered that the city is nearly 2000 years old, with some of the most unique Roman ruins in England, some Anglo-Saxon history, and a town hall dating to 1380. Nice. To round out the week I went with a group to see Nottingham Castle on Saturday, of Robin Hood fame, so I took a picture with Robin’s statue! And Sunday I went to a church and was offered an amazing lunch while meeting church members, and in the evening went to the pub across the street. Meeting such an international group of students has been intriguing, especially considering that 18 countries are represented in my program alone, of about 85 people or so. I have 2 flatmates from China, 1 from Taiwan, and I still haven’t met the other because she stays in her room all the time…

But alas, classes started Monday and I can already tell that my program will be very difficult. But I won’t bore you with those details until later. I’ll leave you with a few little funny anecdotes: A Chinese girl asked me if I loved Justin Bieber, because she is crazy about him. And I was informed that the currency I had brought from home was “expired”, but a British student bought it off me saying “it will be worth something in 10 years!” And finally, the construction worker who stopped my friend to ask where she was from, and upon learning NY said “Are you talkin’ to me??” in the best Brooklyn accent that a British construction worker can be expected to give.

More soon, I’ll put pictures on facebook as well.

Ancient Roman ruins against the backdrop of modern Leicester: Jewry Wall

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