Thursday, October 1, 2015

Caroline and Clive in Leicester, England!

Hello all!

Greetings from Leicester, the rather chilly but surprisingly sunny center of England. Interestingly, I can already say I’ve had an amazing trip, even though I’ve only been here for a few weeks. I traveled with a friend from UNCG and we decided to come a bit early and have some time to adjust in London, which was incredible. In our days there we saw the National Gallery, Big Ben, Houses of Parliament, The Victoria and Albert Museum, and Benedict Cumberbatch in an other-wordly production of Hamlet. At the end of the week we met up with the rest of the internationals headed to the University of Leicester at Heathrow and traveled to Leicester.

Clive approves of my new home

I think the thing that most surprised me about studying abroad has been how truly impactful and exciting it is. I always heard the same speeches from everyone who came back from their respective trips: that it was amazing, that it was a life changer. And for some reason I always felt like it might not be that way for me. But not even a month into my adventures I can already say that it is true. I have met people from seemingly everywhere in the world. My roommate is an absolutely lovely gal from Korea, and she has been teaching me every day about her culture. This has been invaluable, to be able to see everyday situations in the light of her perspective. 

As expected, there have been some interesting moments of being lost in British slang, (ex: “are you all right” is their “how are you”), but for the most part I have been able to navigate fairly competently thanks to the kindness of the people around me. Additionally, when things go wrong I am finding that getting through a misunderstanding or having to figure out how to get home after the GPS fails is growing my confidence. Culture balancing has also been a learning curve: I am learning to love rugby, as the world cup is going on in London right now, and at the same time I stay up ridiculously late to catch MLB games. It seems crazy at times, being so engaged in both cultures. It is crazy…..but it is also incredible. Classes haven’t started yet here, and so I’ve been able to enjoy soaking up the newness and adjusting to the change.

Clive discovering "suggested reading"

And so I am quite pleased to be able to report a wonderful trip thus far. This week I am traveling around in Paris, which has been super fun, and in a few weeks I will go join the Honor’s College’s Literary London class, which I absolutely cannot wait for. Thanks for letting me tell you a little about what’s been going on with me and I hope everyone’s semesters are going well.

Me being pensive by the Thames

Caroline and Clive

Caroline Somerville
University of Leicester
Leicester, England