By Annique Goldschmidts
Nursing Student, Villanova University, United States of America
One month in and slowly adapting to the Mancunian culture. Bathroom has become loo and line has become queue. These may seem like subtle changes, but it is hard for a New Yorker to change that quickly.
Moving across the pond is a huge change and warranted the nerves pre departure. No shame, I cried the night before I left, asking myself if this was the right decision. Was I really going to miss my second year at my home university? Are my friends going to remember me? What if I hate England? I now can’t believe that these thoughts were in my head, because I am filled only with excitement for the coming year.
The first weeks are a blur of new faces and anxiety. I had already experienced a first year of university, but I was still ill prepared for the influx of students and freshers week. Coming from a school in the middle of Pennsylvania, with a population of 7,000 students, I was overwhelmed with the 40,000 student population in the middle of Manchester City, England. Many of the students come from around the world, and some barely speak English, a phenomenon that I was not accustomed to. Luckily I am constantly surrounded by people who have positively influenced my life in just a short amount of time. They all come from different countries and backgrounds, and we come together to explore the city, study at the library, and go out on the weekends. We met during freshers week, a week of events hosted by the University, that I urge any future student to attend. There you will meet so many people, who are just as nervous as you, and just let loose with them.
Even in my flat, we span around the world, three from Japan, one from China, one from Canada, and three from the UK. We love discussing the differences between our home countries, and laugh at the silly differences. One of my UK flatmates was deeply offended that I had never tried Nandos, and after asking our whole flat, realized that five others had never had this luxury. We now have a planned Nandos dinner for next week. (I will document the experience in my next blog.) The change to British culture has been fun and pretty easy. I have a new found love for tea, and will never again simply drink tea without an extravagant process. A once very unenthusiastic sports fan, now I have a special place in her heart for European football and will cheer for Manchester United in any pub. However, most importantly, using “cheers” in almost any sentence, makes the statement just better, and I will never go back to just “thank you”.
This is the experience I wanted; a time for me to fully embrace new cultures and learn everything I can about the world. This is just the beginning of this incredible experience, and I cannot wait or the rest