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Cultural Differences

Cultural Differences

I guess you can call them “cultural differences,” but there are some aspects of England that I don’t think I’ll ever get used to. First, when you walk into a building you are on the ground floor; and when you walk up a flight of stairs you are now on the first floor…? It seems like it could be logical to some, but how can you have one floor on bottom and one floor on top, and the second one be the first floor? So confusing. Second, how can an entire dialect refrain from using the letter Z (Which, by the way, is called “zed” here, not “zee”)? I don’t want to “realise,” maximise,” or “organise.” I just want my z’s back.  Third, England doesn’t have real lemonade. They call it lemonade on the menus, but it’s really just Sprite 🙁

My first week of classes has been just okay. I think it will take a while to get the hang of things. My school doesn’t have a bookstore, so I’ve ordered books from 3 different stores in London and have to go pick them up at each location because I’m skeptical about the mail delivery to my building. Also, my teachers, or “lecturers” as they’re called, go by their first name, which is odd for me. But what’s most odd is that my classes are surprisingly small, and everyone knows everyone else, because all the students studying the same major have a set schedule of classes. They basically only take classes with the other students in their major. The school doesn’t have a core curriculum or general education classes, the students just study their major. Unfortunately, this alienates me and the other international students in my classes. Hopefully we will learn to fit in.

My favorite class is definitely “Developing Creativity.” We began our lecture with everyone taking paperclips and discussing how many ways a paperclip can be used. Our homework for next week is to bring a special bag to class filled with obscure items that impact our lives. Every week is a new activity/project! It’s my earliest class and my furthest one away, but it’s certainly going to be one worth waking up for.
This weekend I went on two day trips, one to Canterbury and Dover and another to Portsmouth to visit the Royal Navy Museum. Both were excellent! I’ve also booked trips to Germany in 2 weeks, and Paris in 3 🙂 I’m so excited. It’s wonderful to have so many new things to see and do all the time. Being here is really great!

The beautiful town of PortsmouthLoyola Royalty at Dover Castle

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