The Canterbury Chronicles
I’m here! I am now living in Canterbury, England and I couldn’t be happier. I have been somewhat hesitant about starting this blog because my life has been turned upside down and I really don’t know where to start! I left last Friday and first flew to Boston. The five of us from IU who flew together got to the Boston airport at around 8 pm and nothing was open! We were all so hungry and thirsty but every restaurant in the airport was closed and existed only to tempt us that night. From there, we flew to London Heathrow. The flight to London was six hours, but it seemed to last about 12. And let me just throw this out there- it is IMPOSSIBLE to sleep on an airplane comfortably. The flight was miserable, I was tired and hungry and all I wanted to do was find my bed on my new campus and sleep. Instead, the other students and I had to take a two hour bus ride to campus where we then had to carry our bags around until we found our accommodation. At that point, I was over it. I had been up for 36 hours, I hadn’t eaten and I was sweaty and feeling awful. Looking back, my arrival in England was anything but storybook. I was too miserable to notice the intense green scenery or the fact that our bus was driving on the opposite side of the road. That night, after settling in, I became extremely homesick and pessimistic about my new life here. But, I mean, who wouldn’t after the awful day I had? I woke up the next morning and vowed to have a better day. I went downstairs (I live in a 6-bedroom house on campus with five other people, but I'll get to that later) and one of my English roommates, Jonny, made me a proper English breakfast that consisted of eggs, bacon and hot tea. It made me feel so much better, especially since the tea he made me tasted identical to the tea my mother would make me when I was feeling sick. In England, the bacon they use is what we in America call Canadian bacon, so it is basically ham. Therefore, when Jonny was making my breakfast, instead of using the fat from the bacon to fry the eggs, he poured a lot of oil in the pan and put both the bacon and eggs in to cook. What you end up getting is a delicious, fatty, protein packed breakfast that would make any American happy and full. That day was then spent getting to know my roommates and campus. I live in a section of campus called Park Wood that consists of 5 and 6-bedroom houses in very close proximity. I live in Denstead Court with Jonny who is from England, Lauren who is also from England, Damien who is from Switzerland, Hulian who is a girl from China and Jason who is also from China. I have been blessed with the most wonderful, nice and respectful roommates. I couldn’t be happier with people I live with. I also couldn’t be happier with Kent’s campus. Everything is beautiful and easy to find. Everyone here is extremely nice and welcoming and it reminds me a lot of IUE. :)
This first week at Kent is known as Fresher’s Week where there are events everyday and themed parties to go to every night. This is the week before classes start where everyone goes out and has a blast, but me and my American friends from IU who I have become extremely close with, are finding it very difficult to keep up with these Brits! Instead of going out last night, my friend Christina and I made pasta (well SHE made the pasta, I just cleaned the kitchen-ha!) for our friend Nick who brought the wine and dessert. We were very boring last night but the tasty meal and rest were needed. Speaking of delicious meals, on Tuesday night all of the international students were welcomed with an International Dinner. It was the first proper meal my friends and I had had in a few days and it was amazing! We had wine, bread, salad, chicken with stuffing and potatoes, cheesecake with berries and coffee or tea with mints. Our servers wore white gloves and came and took our plates after each course; it was fancy. ;) I sat at a table with Christina, Nick, my Swiss roommate, another IU student, a student from France and a student from Mexico. Just from being here a week, I have met so many people from so many different countries and I have learned so much in such a short amount of time (that was a lot of “so’s”, wasn’t it?). It has been extremely interesting conversing with other international students. What I have noticed is that everyone here is intelligent and knows a lot about the world around them. I am constantly trying to soak up their stories and information because, as ashamed as I now am of it, I really don’t know anything going on in the news today. I could tell you who Emma Stone is dating or what dress Nina Dobrev wore to the Emmy’s, but I couldn’t give you my opinion on issues in the world. At first, I was utterly embarrassed at the fact that I couldn’t hold an intellectual conversation, but now that I am being immersed in a culture where students have opinions and knowledge about current topics, I am slowly learning and am able to now form some opinions of my own.
The decision to study abroad, especially in England at the University of Kent, was a swift and uncalculated one on my part, but I am so happy that for one reason or another, I decided to apply. If not, I wouldn’t have been able to experience the beautiful culture and people of Canterbury, a place that I am now happy to call my home, well at least for the next year. 'Til next time-
Christina and I!
Meal at International Dinner
My beautiful view!
The new driving situation!
Also- I am terrible about forgetting my camera in my room, so all of these beautiful pictures are courtesy of my friends Shelby and Christina! I need to give credit where credit is due! :)