Livin’ La Vida Uni

Hello! Just finished my first week of classes abroad. I am taking three classes: a management class that covers a requirement back at DU, a history of Wales class covering the age of Princes, and a Making Snowdonia geography class. The latter is a field course, so five weeks of lectures about the environment and neighboring national park, but then in week six the class goes on field trips around Snowdonia National Park to different sites to learn about the agriculture, geology, plants, and animals of the area. I have class a day for one or two hours depending on the class, so there’s a lot of downtime in my life right now. It’ll get busier as the semester progresses I’m sure with papers and tests. My weekly schedule is never the same because each class session is revered in itself because it might be taught by a different professor and they have planned to a T what will happen. It’s a little irritating but it is what it is. Also, every other week or so there is a tutorial session where the class is broken into smaller groups and attendance is recorded to monitor our progress.

 The dorm is very nice. I like having my own little room to come to at the end of every day. The kitchen is shared with six other people. I have cooked a few times. Last Tuesday I thought I started the stove, so I had my pot with the water I thought was boiling on top, but turns out I had just turned the oven on. My Scottish flatmate came in and asked me if I was using “the hob” and I replied “the what???” and she then turned off oven and turned on the stove so whew no harm done with the accidental turning on of oven. For future reference for myself, hob = stove. Although the dorms are very new and very clean, there have apparently in the past been problems with the fire alarms. All over the door to my room and in the kitchen there are signs warning against false fire alarms due to unattended cooking, aerosol use, or steam from showers. And every Thursday they do a sound check of the system. So I am always very nervous that the alarm will go off since it is notoriously triggered easily. My “RA” (who are called Wardens here, and the individual dorm buildings are known as blocks…) when giving the safety talk to our flat said that there will be a fire drill sometime soon and one IN THE MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT… awesome..just awesome.

 I mentioned in my first post that Bangor is a very hilly city. And boy is that the truth. Everyday I’m walking somewhere and huffing and puffing up and down these hills carrying my bag. The city is classified into two parts: Upper Bangor and Lower Bangor. Upper Bangor is where the university is situated and where I live; lower Bangor is where the high street is and the railway station and bigger grocery stores. The hill that I walk that connects the two is fondly known as “B**ch Hill” by the students. I had heard about this infamous part of Bangor before coming to Bangor but I’d thought it the hill from the site my dorm is on to Morrison’s the grocery store, so when I had felt like the walk to Morrison’s was actually pretty easy, the universe laughed and I found the bigger hill.

2014-10-03 16.41.38
Aight this isn’t too bad…
2014-10-03 16.36.34
…haha says the universe
2014-09-18 16.32.08
…hilarious

 I really do walk everywhere. Today, for example, I think I trekked 6+ miles round trip to Penrhyn Castle just outside the city. So my feet hurt all the time and my shoes are already being worn down! But hopefully all this walking will mean great legs for ski season!

During welcome week, the university held their giant two day “Fresher’s Fair” full of all of the clubs and societies available. I ended up putting my name down for the majority because hey it’s fun and a lot of the tables had free stuff. This week the clubs and societies had taster sessions to go to if you wanted more information about the particular club. Thus far I have gone to a Mad Hatter tea party for the Books and Quills club, a craft night for the craft club, a BBQ for the gardening club, and a grub crawl for the Christian Union. I don’t know (or think) I will official join anything but all of these were a great way to meet more people and experience their uni life.

It’s all a overwhelming experience so far but I take it day by day and I constantly remind myself to soak it all in because this is once in a lifetime and I am grateful for all the opportunities and chances I have thus far! Can’t wait to see what’s next!

 

DSCN0131
But most of the time, the trekking everywhere leads to spectactular views!

 

 

Advertisements

Welcome to Wales

It’s officially one month until I leave for Bangor University for the fall semester!

I will be enrolled as a student taking a variety of classes ranging from basic Welsh to organizational behavior.

Before I delve more into my thoughts regarding my next big life adventure let me tell a bit about myself:

I am a third year Marketing major at the University of Denver in beautiful Colorado, where I am involved in both the Delta Delta Delta sorority and the Alpha Kappa Psi professional business fraternity. Originally from Northern California, I have always enjoyed traveling with my family across the US and Europe. I like to find adventure anywhere I find myself!

Something that is hard to do as a visitor or tourist to any locale is really immerse yourself within that culture. World cultures have always fascinated me because it is astounding how on one single planet so much cultures, histories, and stories can co-exist together! A semester abroad provides enough time to begin to understand and thrive in that cultures instead of just glancing at it while a tourist. Although my culture is noticeably the baseball, minivans, and apple pie all American, one unique cultural experience I had was that my family happened to be in London when Prince William married Catherine Middleton. I stood on the Pall Mall in front of Buckingham Palace waving a small British flag, belting “God Save the Queen” while cheering for Queen Elizabeth and the rest of the British Royal Family. I felt a part of the culture and yelling for the couple to kiss when they appeared on the balcony seemed the right thing to do. It was an amazing experience to be a part of something that is so distinctly a part of the British national identity.

Studying abroad was always a definite must and it was not an easy decision narrowing down even which part of the world I wanted to study in for a semester! When faced with the daunting question from the study abroad office of where could we imagine living for four months. Since I’ve always been an anglophile and being a champion of all things Britannia, I decided on Bangor University in Wales because it gave a different UK experience than the programs in the ever popular London or Glasgow. So then I got the official email telling me the great news.

With this news, I have been busily mentally preparing myself for the trip of a lifetime where I really get to become a member of a different culture and lifestyle.

Going out of state for college was a particular challenge but its set the stage for being more comfortable with leaving home for greater distances. The biggest challenge I will face is being alone in a strange place; California to Colorado was an interesting enough adjustment, so US to Wales will be even more confusing! Support from family and friends will help make the transition smoother as they are as excited to hear all about the experiences I have abroad! Every person I’ve ever talked to about their time living abroad has told me how the experience has changed them and altered their world perspective, and from my college adventures that joining and involving myself in as many things as possible will be the best things to expand my horizons.

My next post will be from Wales!Bangor-University-007

Until next time,

Emily S., DUSA blogger