Sunday, June 22, 2014

Here at Last

After a long long long day of travel (drive to PDX, flight to JFK, 3 hour delay out of JFK, 6 hour flight to LHR, 3 hour bus ride to school) I am finally here! Yesterday I was, just as I expected, tired beyond belief and rather disoriented. Being up for more than 28 hours will do that to a person. After a real meal, a long hot shower shower and a 12 hour night of sleep, I feel much less like a travel zombie and more like a human being again.

Today I took the opportunity to familiarize myself with campus and acclimate before classes start tomorrow. I also have a tour of Brighton this afternoon, which is about a 15 minute bus ride from campus and right on the seaside.

The green trees and tall grasses all over campus are a lovely reminder of home. So much so in fact that because I haven't had a chance to explore out into the wider world yet, it's been up to the little things to remind me that I am no longer in the United States. 

Subtle signs I'm in the UK:

1. Yes, people do drive on the "wrong" side of the road. 
2. British accents abound! My ears are in heaven. I realized that I am starting to speak that way in my head, more often than normal that is. I really want to try it out loud and see if someone mistakes me for a local. 
3. These wonky lines are painted in the road:

4. My dorm building is called a block, my floor is called a flat, trash cans are called rubbish bins, and of course everything is in pounds.
5. Instead of the blue steel US Mail containers, they have these:

6. There is a bar on campus and drinking is not only condoned but somewhat encouraged with promises of parties and free drink vouchers.
7. And finally, these multicolored flags are up all around campus, welcoming everyone here.

Because it is an international summer school, there are students from all over the United States and the world. Last night, I had dinner with students from New Jersey, Virginia, Kansas, Germany and the Netherlands. There are also fairly large groups of students from the UC school system in California, and Hong Kong. 

My dorm is Northfield, quite appropriately named as the northernmost tip of campus, backed by a lush green field. I climbed the hill up past the buildings today and found hiking paths, places to sit and read in the tall grass, and a view above campus.

The Northfield dorms from the field above. I think mine is the one on the far left.

The perfect reading and writing bench. :)

The view down the other side of the hill past campus. As far as I know, the building on the left used to be inhabited by some sort of royalty and is now private, and the building on the left is a church.
This scenery makes me grateful I chose to study here at Sussex rather than in the heart of London. Of course I can't wait to see what London, the rest of England and wherever I travel to in Europe has to offer, but I am an Oregon girl and need my green space. :) I found a hiking trail up here as well that I know I will want to explore.

I walked around a bit on campus as well, so I know where to go these next two months. I found a grocery store and stocked up on some necessities like fresh fruits and veggies, so I already feel more at home. I love where Northfield is located, even though it's a bit of a hike to the rest of campus.
This is where we checked in, rather impressive looking. 

I'm sure I will spend a fair amount of time here, but hopefully not too much ;) 

It was a whirlwind getting here, and once classes and my trips start, I know it's going to be crazy again, but I'll be ready for it. Bring it on England :)

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