Monday, September 19, 2011

A Not so Brief Reflection about my First Few Days in St. Andrews

I'm all moved in and diving into Freshers week. The past couple of days have been a whirlwind of meeting people and getting lost on my way home. This is just going to be a long post about my reactions to Freshers week and studying abroad for my first time. So, St. Andrews, the town, is small. Like smaller than where I go to school small. I'm going to venture a guess and say that it is much nicer and much safer though.
You can walk anywhere in about a half hour. Let's talk about that walking though. My apartment is about a 20 minute walk from just about everything. At first I loved it because you get to sight see and look at the quaint little houses. However, it's only been three days and I'm starting to wish I lived just a little bit closer. I am sore all over from too much walking. This just means that I have to get good at planning ahead. I'll have to remember to pack meals or snacks so that I don't have to walk back and forth too often. I'll also have to leave enough time so I'm not late to classes. My apartment is amazing though. I have my own double bed and my very own bathroom attached to my room. There's lots of storage space and the internet is super fast (even if it's not wireless). Down the hall there is a kitchen and sitting area. I share this with four other women. The kitchen area is fully equipped with pots and pans. There's lots of space and everything functions perfectly. I guess it's worth walking far to be able to live in such a nice space.
I've only met three of my four flat mates and all of them are lovely. Two are here on a program to learn to speak english fluently. One is Italian and the other woman is French. I love talking to both of them because they are so sweet and kind. They both kept reminding me to correct them if they say something wrong but I keep telling them I can understand them perfectly. The other girl who I met is also a study abroad student from America. It's nice to meet other people here for only a semester. Although I am meeting people from all over the world it is comforting to meet people in the same situation as me. We are able to support each other. I even met a girl from Wisconsin. We bonded over our love of the Packers. We even found a pub that shows American football games late at night so we can cheer on our  favorite team.
As I've been acclimating to life in Scotland I've started to notice some differences that make life just that much more interesting. For example, cars drive on the other side of the road. I know, I know, this is the most cliche American observation in the book but believe me it has caused me some difficulty. First, my dad decided it would be the best plan to drive from Edinburgh to St. Andrews. I didn't know if we were even going to make it. I've also had a hard time crossing streets. I don't know which way to look first. I've just started to cross when everyone else does. This may not be the best plan but I'm alive to write this blog post so it must be working. Beyond that it has been little things such as words and phrases that I don't quite get the meaning of yet. That, and the teeny tiny shower keeps me on my toes and alert for the day.
I'll save the rest of my observations for a different post since this one has rambled on for long enough. Suffice it to say that I am absolutely loving Scotland and Freshers week. Let's just see how much I like it when classes get going :)

1 comment:

Mara said...

I'm so glad your flatmates are lovely! That's important when you're going somewhere away from home, that you have friendly people around you. Scotland sounds so lovely! I'm still so jealous that you get to go to school there. So cool.