FIRST POST FROM ENGLAND! This place is awesome. I can’t believe I’m actually here at Roehampton already. So far I have been extremely busy with welcome events for the international students and this is my first afternoon of downtime in two days! Okay so where to begin… I guess I’ll start with my flight. I ended up sitting next to two Norwegian women (I think) who spoke no English, so the TV screen in front of me was my buddy for the plane ride. The smart thing to do would have been to sleep the entire way, but the selection of movies I could pick from was pretty distracting and I ended up watching The Five Year Engagement (pretty good movie by the way). So overall, my flight went very well and we landed right on time at Heathrow. I finally found my way to the meet and greet service that Roehampton set up for the international students… it wasn’t easy considering I had to lug around two huge, heavy suitcases, a big duffel bag and a backpack through an underground train and two elevators (which the call “lifts” here). I was actually sweating by the time I made it to the meet and greet terminal, but had about two hours of downtime while more students kept arriving. Then it was off to campus!
We took a 45 minute bus ride to Roehampton’s campus and dropped the group of us off at the International Welcome Room where they began to hand out “accommodation” (their version of housing) keys and information, along with bedding and sandwiches for lunch. I basically grabbed my key and rushed out the door in excitement to see my new room. Luckily, my building was a minute walk from the welcome room, and my “Flat Rep” (AKA “RA” or Residence Assistant in the US) helped me with my bags (thank goodness). My Flat Rep’s name is Damon and he is a post-grad student (the American equivalent of a graduate student) here. Damon is studying poetry and used to be a dancer… he’s pretty crazy and extremely outgoing. EVERYONE knows him here on campus… it’s insane. But I’m glad to have a “keen” (or popular) Flat Rep because I can already tell he’ll be a lot of fun. Damon was super welcoming and so excited to help me because I was his first “Fresher” to arrive in the building! “Freshers” are what they call at the incoming first-year students at Uni in England (Uni means college/short for university). It’s very funny to be called a fresher since I’m used to now having somewhat of upperclassmen status at UNCW. But I don’t mind it because all the attention is on us for the next two weeks.
As for some details on my accommodation… I live in a building called Shaw in block E. When you walk in the door for my flat, there is a long hallway with doors on both sides. The first door to the right is a common area with a table, chairs, and a couch, and a kitchen with plenty of drawers, and brand new kitchen appliances including a fridge, freezer, microwave, oven/stove, and toaster… not bad right!? My room is the next door on the right in the hallway, right next to the kitchen. I have an individual room with my own mini bathroom as well (sink, shower, and toilet included!). I love the fact that one of my walls is painted a bright green color because it makes the room feel a little more homey (my walls at home are all lime green!). The bedding they gave us isn’t the best, but I’ll make do with what I have so far and maybe buy a nice soft blanket since it gets pretty cold in here at night.
I was the only one living in the flat for the first two nights, but another international student just got here today and is living in a room down the hall. I feel bad, but I already forget her name (it’s so hard to remember everyone I’ve been meeting)! She is very nice though and is actually from Seville, Spain. The other four people living in my flat are going to be regular British students and will be arriving on Sunday, so I’m extremely excited to meet them because it’s really quiet around here! Most of the international students I have been meeting are from America or Norway (surprisingly enough). I’m finding that a lot of American students came from California schools and a few from Hawaii! Its definitely a big difference from who I’m used to being around. However, I have been hanging out a lot with three girls from UNCW (Raleigh, Chelsea, and Megan) along with a girl from Australia named Eliza. So far I’ve had no trouble making friends!
There is so much more I want to talk about with my first two days but I think I may take a nap and this post is already too long (sorry, I like to write a lot!). More to come soon!