Photo Frenzy

Today was probably the best day I’ve had here so far. All the international students “competed” in a big scavenger hunt called Photo Frenzy with destinations throughout the central London area. We split ourselves up into groups of eight and were given a camera for each group and instructed to take the most creative pictures with the group at the destinations on our sheet (which only had clues about the places to find, NOT directions). After of frantically grouping ourselves off into groups of eight, we were sent off ON OUR OWN to figure out the transportation systems and make it over to central London (which consisted of taking about two trains and the tube for a few stops). At least the school gave every student a free ticket to ride the public transportation all day! It was scary at first because we were on our own and the pace of people in London make us look like slowpokes since we stopped a lot to look at maps with intricate colored routes for tube/bus lines and stations. Needless to say, it was a bit overwhelming with all the people going off and on the public transportation systems and having to be stuck in the middle of all the hustle and bustle.My group consisted of me and two other girls from my school (Raleigh and Chelsea), along with my other new good friend Liza (from Australia!), and five other internationals each from a different country. Yes, we broke the rules and had nine in our group, but at least we were the most diverse! The other internationals were from Norway (Theo), France (Melanie), Dubai (Sonny?), Italy (Michaela), and the Netherlands (Renee)… pretty cool, huh? It was awesome getting to talk to all these different people about their experiences in college and living in general.  And I do have to give a big shout out to Michaela who led the way the entire time since she was somewhat familiar with the transportation system. We got a bit lost a few times but always found our way to where we were going.

Some of the destinations included Big Ben, the London Eye, Buckingham Palace, Trafalgar’s Square, and other main points in the city. It was amazing to actually stand next to these landmarks and places that I have only seen in a picture or on TV before.  Buckingham Palace was very pretty, but I’d love to go back to see the changing of the guards! Big Ben was definitely the most beautiful building ever… the architecture was unbelievable and it looked even bigger in real life. We got to see the London eye from across a river, but I’d love the chance to ride it sometime while I’m here!

As for the photo competition, we don’t know if our group won yet, (since we only had disposable cameras they won’t develop the film today), but our group did try to come up with some funny/unique poses. I had the idea of drawing the mustaches, and that seemed to be a hit! Also, some of the photos we took will probably end up on Roehampton’s website eventually. I’ll keep you posted on that!

So that’s a little about my day today. I am completely exhausted and really need some sleep. I’ve uploaded a few of my favorite pictures of the day but there will be plenty more on my Facebook! Check back soon!

Central London

Me and Chelsea at Buckingham Palace

 

Raleigh, Me, Liza

Does anyone know the time?

London Eye

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First Few Days

I’ll try not to make this too long but I’ll try to update you on my first few days here. After unpacking in my room, the rest of the day was dedicated to downtime because they knew how tired all the international students would be. But we did have a gathering at the Uni’s pub at night, yes that’s right there is a pub on campus! I went with my UNCW friend Raleigh and Damon (my flat rep) introduced us to a bunch of people (since he’s so popular and all). The first night was definitely a lot of fun and I got to experience being legal to drink which was also something different for me, obviously. On Friday nights every week the pub hosts a big dance called “Bop” where students can dress up in fun outfits going with the theme of that week. The first one has a superhero theme… I was not prepared for themed outfits and we’ll have to improvise some costumes I guess!

The next day, and first full day here, was very busy. We had a long international student orientation where the advisors welcomed us and told us important information for registering for classes and other school related stuff. We also got a tour of the campus so now I have a better idea of where everything is. The campus is BEAUTIFUL by the way. I will be posting some pictures of the pretty greenery, lakes, and buildings we have here… it’s kind of crazy how we go to school here. After the tour, we FINALLY took a big group trip to Asda (the English version of Walmart), which was completely essential because I needed to get so much stuff. I had no toilet paper, towel, food… nothing! So I was extremely happy to go get some things to bring back to my flat. Asda was crazy busy and there was a lot of commotion as maybe 300 international students were wondering around trying to figure out what the best and cheapest options were in the store. Fun fact: they don’t have grape jelly here! It’s also called “jam” instead of jelly!

After our stressful time at Asda, I got back to the flat and was thrilled to be able to take a shower now that I had a towel… it was actually glorious. Then all the international students met up at an eatery on campus for a free dinner which consisted of various mystery finger food that looked like dumplings, sandwiches, and chips (which are “crisps” here). But the best part… free wine! Which we obviously HAD to take advantage of. Check out the picture below of the prettiest cupcake ever along with some lovely free white wine 🙂

We had another night out at the campus pub and met even more people. Everyone seems to keep getting nicer and nicer here and I love that I am now seeing some familiar faces when I walk around campus. I can’t wait until the regular English students get here so I can meet even more people!

Today was finally more of a relaxing day where they set up an information fair for the international students. I learned about the Student Union on campus and am considering writing for the school’s newspaper/magazine. I also talked to someone about getting a gym membership for the semester… it’s called “ROEactive” and is about a 5-10 minute walk from my flat. Not bad! After the information fair I finally had some downtime to relax in my room and write this to all of you. YAY.

More to come soon with pictures of campus, and a finalized schedule of what classes I’ll be taking!

Some English vocab for you all…

joggers – sweatpants

jumper – sweatshirt

knackered – really tired (slang word, somewhat inappropriate)

fit – hot (looks-wise)

tube – train

20120914-160740.jpgcupcakes and wine… what else do I need?

20120914-160748.jpgthemes for the Bop dances every friday at the pub on campus!

HELLOOOOO ROEHAMPTON!

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!

20120914-141953.jpg my very own bathroom… the shower is small, but it’s great I have it all to myself!

20120914-142004.jpglove this green wall!

20120914-142011.jpgdesk space

20120914-142017.jpg

20120914-142030.jpgthe hallway right when you walk into the entrance of my flat. The kitchen is on the right, and the next door after that on the right is my room!

20120914-142038.jpgkitchen table/common area for the 6 of us

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20120914-142100.jpgmy building Shaw

20120914-142108.jpgthe view when you walk outside of my building