I’m writing this post sitting in my new home for the next year. It’s hard to believe I have been in Newcastle upon Tyne for almost 2 weeks now. To catch up I am planning a couple of back posts about moving and my vacation in Scotland. But, for now I’ll offer what I have been up to for the past week!
It has been induction week at Northumbria University. Induction Week simultaneously happens at the same time as Freshers Week. Freshers week is a series of parties, pub crawls, dances, and fairs to welcome to first years to the uni (university). Insanity all week basically. Still trying to get over the fact that there are 3 pubs and a club in the student union….So different than American University! Induction week is also geared towards first year students (both undergraduate and graduate, though more the former). The typical lectures given at orientation in the US are offered during this week within each department, as well as some basic syllabus talks. Students also meet with their program once during the week. It’s a combination of orientation and a syllabus week in the US. I will admit the English seem less inclined to give specifics and helpful tips during this time like you would receive at orientation, so most of us international students still feel pretty lost. But we are making do! Fortunately there are so many people who are excited to have international students (particularly Americans), so many people have been very helpful and friendly. This is making the process a bit less painful since much of the IT has not been working for me!
My building has been offering events every night this week, so it has been a great way to meet people and get out of my studio. They have taken us out for Sunday Roast, clubs, and pubs, as well as pizza and quiz nights in. I’ve made friends with a few of the older students in my building (most are 1st or 2nd years.. they’re 17 and pretty young- living on their own for the first time. I can’t blame them; It’ll be fun to watch them grow this year.) So far my friends from my building and my course are ranging from across the world: Germany, Indonesia, Australia, Canada, Puerto Rico, Norway, Nigeria, Singapore, Greece, Spain, Portugal, Poland, Wales, and England. It’s been a bit harder to meet English students as the international programs keep us away from them and my program has very few UK students. I’m hoping to befriend more locals in the next few months, but so far so good. Last night I joined my friend Tom, a British Army cadet studying Mechanical Engineering at Northumbria, and his English friends for a pub quiz at our local pub. I was one of few women in there and the only American- pretty wild, but it finally felt like I was getting outside of the ‘international student bubble.’ Here’s to more of those nights!
Time for some fun out on the town tonight and the beach on Sunday since it is supposed to be 75F and sunny! **knock on wood**