Hello from the United Kingdom and Canterbury Christ Church University. This blog is posted by the students studying abroad in Canterbury during the Fall 2013 semester in order that they might share some of their experiences with the Cazenovia community back home.
Introductory posts come from Cazenovia College juniors Eli Anderson, Jenna Kraeger, Sarah Ferguson, Rebecca Reiss, and Alexandra Smith writing about the experience of getting to and settled in Canterbury and first their impressions.
Greetings from Canterbury, England! The Cazenovia group has arrived safely and everybody settled into his or her accommodations. We each have the top floor room of a different townhouse, and all of our houses are located on the same road. This works out nicely, as it allows each of us to meet roommates from around the world while still being close to one another. Canterbury is a great university town with lots of shops and restaurants to keep us busy. Christ Church University has been very accommodating, giving us tours of the campus and the city. In our first week here, we took a day trip to Bruges, Belgium, crossing the English Channel and driving through northern France. I also took a day trip into London and was able to see Big Ben, Buckingham Palace, Trafalgar Square, and the London Eye. I am really excited for the next couple of months.
I had imagined a whole different world when we landed in London. However, in reality I had to keep reminding myself I am 3000 miles from home and will be here for three months. The first days were full of adrenaline and adventure, exploring our new home and the city of Canterbury. We found ourselves saying, "I can't believe we are finally here!" As the adrenaline fades, we settle into our flats and start to meet new people. A few friends and I got into a routine of either going out to the pub or watching movies. There are a ton of things to do in Canterbury.
I woke up early Saturday morning overwhelmed with a case of the jitters. It was really beginning to sink in that I was leaving for England in just a few hours. The six and a half hour plane ride seemed to drag, only because I couldn't wait to arrive in London. It was an amazing feeling when I looked out the tiny window and got my first glimpse of London. Getting settled didn't seem to take as long. The fact that most of our classes did not start right away actually really helped me with this process. It gave me free time to explore, go out and make friends.
I had a certain set of expectations about what England would be like when I arrived in Canterbury. My first assumption, that it rained a lot, was completely on point. It rains almost every day. I had been told before I left that there would be a ton of walking. That was an understatement. What I wasn't expecting, and it surprised me, was how crazy the people drive here. They speed through the little streets. It's not only the cars though. A person is just as likely to get hit by a crazy cyclist as they are a driver. There were also certain words and phrases that I expected to hear when I arrived and it turns out they don't use a lot of them. So all in all, it was nothing like I thought it would be.
When I first found out I was going to England everyone asked me why. I told them "why not". The process of getting to England was very interesting to me, probably because I have never done anything like that before. It was a six hour flight, but with the time difference we jumped ahead twelve hours total. It was 6am England time and 1am at home. We all wanted sleep but had a whole day in front of us. Now that it is almost two weeks later, the jet lag is almost completely gone. I still don't realize that I'm overseas in a different country. Cazenovia seems like it's just a short walk down the road.