Wednesday, September 15, 2010


It is the second full day spent in Manchester and a complete 360 from the prior day for the other exchange students and I. We arrived in Manchester yesterday at 7:30am UK time when it was about 1:00am back home. We were advised to stay awake all day and go to bed at a regular time to get on their schedule. So yesterday was actually quite exhausting. We didnt think it would effect us as much as it did. It made the culture shock a little more shocking. This very large city is like any other where it has its shady parts and the really really charming/historical parts too. But students and I were alittle disheartened by what we saw and were experiencing right away, I think mostly because of tiredness and wierd/new feelings that came with it.

I had met a student at the Chicago airport who was from North Carolina and also going to be studying at MMU as an exchange student. Gorev ventured around Manchester with the three other students and I. We set out on a mission to look for phones, check out bus passes, and have a drink at our first British pub. A celebration was essential. As we made our way to the city center my feelings changed about the place. It was what I was hoping the city would be: charming old buildings, some cobblestone streets, and pigeons. So many bloody pigeons. The city is also very fitting for students with lots of pubs and cool venues with surprising reasonable deals. I couldnt move in to my place until today so I slept on another student's floor. Needless to say sleeping didnt go as well as I had hoped at a time I really needed it, but I got it. The exhaustion and inability to fall back to sleep caused doubt and anxiety to set in about the whole situation but today helped completely change that.

We had our welcome session where all the international students were briefed by faculty. It ended early enough, leaving more time to explore the city. I had met another student from North Carolina and she also ventured out with us. Sleep made me look at everything different. Manchester is a very diverse city and the University is as well. I look forward to this opportunity to live in an environment completely different than home and with people completely different too. I am living in a hall run by the Islamic association. That, on top of many other things will be quite unlike than anything I've experienced before. But so important and beneficial to experience. I came over here to familiarize myself with different people in this world just as much as different places. Manchester is a perfect city for that. The Brits have been so helpful and friendly. I am quickly feeling more acclimated. Glad to have been able to move in today. It is in a beautifully renovated building. I love the charm and feel quite comfortable here.

Wow this post is getting way too long so I best stop. In summary, the first day was iffy, and the second day was much more reassuring. I look forward to everything to come! I really need to find a better/shorter way to summarize everything. Ok Cheerios.

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