These past two days have sort of flown by! Yesterday (the 5th) I started my day in Heathrow airport in London…where I left off on my last post. No, I didn’t sleep in the airport. (Jetlag and all) Instead, I spent the wee hours of the morning watching Netflix and chatting with friends back home. As soon as the security lines opened at 4:30am, I was the first one through. Literally. I was the first person to walk through security at Heathrow airport on the 5th of January. Write it down in history, people. Well, after I got through, I still had a 3 hour wait until my plane took off. I made my first purchase in the U.K.-an apple-naturally, and I sipped on some coffee while people-watching. At 7:10, my plane took off and it was a short one hour flight to Manchester. When I arrived, it was all hussle and bussle to get to the train station to catch my bus to the University at 9. Thankfully, my bag was the 3rd one off of the luggage carousel. Another proud moment in my life!
As soon as I got to the bus stop, there was a huge Lancaster University booth with students sitting around it. I instantly felt 10X safer and more comfortable. We had about 15 minutes to chat before our bus arrived to take us to Uni. It is about a 1 hour bus ride to Lancaster, and we drove through beautiful countrysides with green pastures with the typical English looking wooden gates surrounding them. I was astonished at how many sheep farms there were! When I got to the university, my sleep deprivation was starting to kick in, so I instantly settled into my dorm and took a nap. When I woke up, I unpacked my stuff and settled into my room. I really like it! I have a single room and I share a kitchen and bathroom area with 8 other students, so there’s enough privacy, but still community as well!
Last night, we had an informal dinner and mixer gathering with all of the international students that are studying at Lancaster this semester. This was a great time, and I got to meet people from all over the world.
This morning (the 6th), we started bright and early with Orientation. Again, this includes all of the international students that are here for the semester. After some basic information, we got to tour campus and the town of Lancaster. This was definitely the bright spot in my day! There was a lot of time to casually hang out with all of the students. We are all in the same place, wanting to make friends and travel and see things, so we could instantly connect on a lot of things! The town of Lancaster is absolutely beautiful! It is a historic city and there is a castle in it with a story from back between the Duke of Lancaster and the Duke of York. It is a very botique town, with lots of unique shops and pubs. Our tour guide said, “Lancaster has the most pubs per square mile.” And it really is true. It was really cool to see the towns personality and experience such a quaint city. To see pictures, check out my Facebook album or check out my Photo Tour. I plan on doing some more touring of the town later in the week, because we didn’t have a lot of time. We all met up for dinner at a pizza and pasta place before heading back to the university.
All in all, I’m really enjoying my experience. The adjustment has been hard, especially settling in yesterday. But as I start to make friends, it has become really rewarding. I am so excited to start traveling and seeing things and make deeper relationships with my new group of friends!