Friday, February 15, 2008

Kristen S. - Oxford, England - Spring 2008

Hello all,
It has been a while since my last post. It is hard to believe that I have already started on my fourth week of tutorials. It is odd that there is so much free time, so much work, and at the same time no time for anything. It feels like a sort of pattern has emerged here. Go to breakfast, lunch, and dinner awful food at the cafeteria and then in between work. I found myself unprepared for the subjects I chose to take, they were outside my field, as is the whole institution for that matter and thus I have a lot more work to do to catch up. The tutors are kind, they are understanding of my lack of knowledge and are more than willing to help me catch up but it requires a lot of work. I have a tutorial in my tutor's dorm room, which is an odd thing for me.
I am not used to having classes alone, I miss the sounding board that other students become, but it is nice to be able to learn at my own pace. It is surprising how different the British are than I thought they would be. We speak the same language, but not really, their phrases are different, they use some words to mean different things. It takes me a couple more seconds to process what I have just heard. More often than not, I find I am asking someone to repeat what they just said, because I was too busy translating the sentence before. The other interesting concept here is that people tend to buy what they need for the day here, they don't shop for the week and thus everything comes in smaller packages. Coke tastes different here, which was a sad revelation. But on the whole things are different and the same, which is maybe what makes the stay here hardest of all. I feel like I fit in, I have established patterns of work and fun, and take time off to travel, but all in all CMRS is starting to feel like a place where I live not just where I am visiting.


Blogger Adam Daniels said...

Dear Kristen,
I had two questions about registering for classes when abroad. What if you find out that the class you are taking is not right for you, is it easy to switch classes? Second, is it all right to take classes that seem fun that would not transfer back over just for the experience? Thanks!

Adam Daniels

1:23 AM  
Blogger stwinb said...

Umm I had a program that required us to sign up for classes when we applied and there was no room to switch ever really. I would just suggest that you make sure to balance yourself out. Don't worry I took one class that did not transfer and i took no major courses in England. So don't worry!!

4:08 PM  

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