Last week was orientation for international exchange students. I would say the highlight was just meeting people from all different parts of the world. Students are here from places like Columbia, Spain, France, Germany, Austria, Australia, Japan, Czech, and the US. It has been fun being a apart of the international community.
Thursday we attended an event where we ate some traditional English food and uncoordinately danced to traditional Scottish and Irish music. In the video show, Celia, a student from Spain, gives her impression of Americans and Milan from the Czech Republic has a bit to say too. Friday, we took a bus through the Enlgish countryside (which is as beautiful as I had hoped) to one of "England`s best theme parks". It was a great day and the sun managed to shine all the way through. Saw me a castle and ate some fish and chips.
Sunday, a British friend and I went to the city center on a quest to get internet at one of the cafes since ours hasnt worked since Saturday. And later in the day met up wtih Aisha, a completely sweet Manchester native who happened to study at SDSU as an exchange student last year. And I would say Sunday I officially felt like Manchester could be a comfortable and fun home for the next few months. Aisha was nice enough to show us around and I got hints of all I have left to explore and do here.
Another highlight has been getting to know other Brits and international students in my residence hall. They are all so kind. It has been nice to get a taste of how they live by observing the food they eat and through the conversations we all have together in our shared kitchens. I had Indian food for the first time this week, delicious! There are three kitchens joined together so it allows everyone to sit and chat. Look forward to friendships we will continue to form.
My experience so far has been completely different than I expected but I like it this way. I think this experience is going to be just as much about the people I meet as it is the places I see. The culture and way of life here is farther from ours than I ever realized. The ladies in my hall think its crazy that us Americans use a coffee machine. That's right, they dont have coffee makers in England, only some wierd instant stuff. I have conformed and bought some as well as milk, sugar, and bisquits (which we call cookies) to have with my tea.