Intro week – day 1!

The first day of Intro Week is over!

I started it by getting up at about 10am (that’s early to me, shut up!). I had to drop by The Edge to get my Eat with US card upgraded. When I went to pick it up on Saturday they couldn’t find it and had to order a new one. The new one only had a £30/week allowance when it was supposed to be £50. I was told to come back at 5pm which I did.

After that I went to Elmfield to get my qualifications and passport verified. The line was really long and I spent most of it talking to mom on the phone and listening to some British guy showing off his Chinese skills to some much younger Chinese kids. He irritated me a bit, but I guess I can’t be too judgmental seeing as I don’t speak a word of Chinese myself. In my defense I do realize that technically there is no such thing as Chinese.

After that was over I walked outside and pulled out my umbrella. On my walk over to the Students’ Union parts of my brain waged a war over whether I should pity or laugh at the poor souls who had no umbrellas and were very very wet.

I meant to go on one of the Union Tours at 2pm. I had ordered my free ticket online yesterday and I was kind of looking forward to it. I was supposed to pick up my ticket at the box office only when I got there the line was so long it probably would’ve taken me an hour to actually get the ticket. Since I hadn’t actually paid any money for it I decided to just skip it. Instead I had cupcakes from the new Fancie outlet. They were yummy.

I spent some time online and ordered a printer on Amazon. I know I don’t technically need it but I hate reading texts on my computer screen. I like to print out articles to read them so I can scribble notes and stuff. It’s not a very expensive printer so I feel justified.

At around 3pm I went home and watched one episode of Doctor Who (the one about Vincent Van Gogh) and then went back to the Edge to get that upgrade. There was some trouble with the upgrading and lots of people who were there to buy tickets to various Endcliffe Village events had to wait behind me forever. I was really sorry.

After dinner I went to the Interval where Progress, the postgraduate students’ forum, had a sort of welcome party. I arrived alone and felt a bit awkward for a bit. I met two Chinese girls who are getting their Masters in Public Health and since I’ve been here for a month already and have taken the time to read up on pretty much everything, most of the conversation was just them asking me questions about how everything works. Maybe I should become some kind of guide for the department or something.

Shortly after that I met a German girl who’s getting her Masters in Management in Culture, or something like that. When I told her what I’m studying she told me her roommate is studying the same thing so we went over to talk to her. Not long after that another girl wandered over who is also getting her Masters in Public Health in International Development. It was fantastic. The first girl is from San Francisco and she has a BA in Philosophy and something and the other one is from Kenya and she’s a pharmacist. I have a feeling we’re all going to be from very different backgrounds. I think it’s fascinating. It’s funny that the pharmacist is from Kenya because that’s where we’re going on our field trip. We laughed about that quite a lot.

Apart from them I met a Canadian Political Scientist, a Pakistani economist, an Iranian girl studying International Communication (or something like that), a History teacher from New Jersey, a girl from Chicago who’s studying Music Management, as well as this perfectly adorable Scottish Mathematician. It was fantastic fun and everyone was so very friendly and funny.

The funniest part of the evening though was when I had just been talking to two English people about the obvious things people ask me about when they hear I’m from Iceland. They asked me whether anyone had asked me about the volcano or the banks. I told them that so far no one had. Then we talked about how due to my accent people tend to think I’m American.

A few minutes later a guy came over and introduced himself. After a few minutes of conversation he said to me: “…and you must be American.” We laughed. Then when I told him I’m actually from Iceland he said: “Oh wow, with the big volcano.” We laughed more.

But yes, it was a fantastic evening and I’m hoping that tomorrow will be just as fun. I have a feeling I’m going to be very tired at the end of the week.

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Now in Ranmoor Village

My sister gave me a kick in the butt and insisted that I write something here. She’s absolutely right, I have been neglecting this space.

I moved into permanent accommodation on September 11th. It’s a small studio flat in Ranmoor Village (one of the University of Sheffield’s residential areas). It’s very nice and cozy and you can see pictures here on Flickr. The Ranmoor Village is almost brand new. There used to be housing here that, according to what I’ve heard, was completely horrific. The University had it torn down and rebuilt and the new accommodation was opened last winter. It’s all very fresh.

I was a bit lonely here at first. I moved in one week early and other people didn’t start moving in until this weekend. So for a week I felt a bit like I was living in a ghost town and the Ridge (Ranmoor service centre with a bar/restaurant) didn’t open up properly until yesterday. Everything’s so much more lively now and I’ve even met a girl who lives in my flat (4 studio rooms make up one flat – each flat only has either men or women). She’s from India and was feeling a little lonely so she came over to introduce herself.

I still haven’t found a job. I had an interview recently, but wasn’t hired. I’ve been feeling a bit down about it and I considered just going without a job. Then I sat down to put together a budget for the year and realized that with a part time job I would be so much more comfortable. I sent out a few more applications yesterday and am now refusing to let a bit of insecurity get me down. So there.

I finally got access to the University network yesterday, so now I don’t have to walk all over campus just to get online. I need to buy a longer net cable though, the one that came with the room doesn’t reach the bed. It irritates me.

Tomorrow is the beginning of Intro Week. During the week there is a heavy schedule set up by the Students’ Union to make sure we have many opportunities to get to know each other and have fun. I also have welcome meetings to go to, one for new postgraduate taught students and one for my department. Then I have to pick modules (classes) for the year and get registered into the school. At that point I will get my UCard which will grant me access to everything and give me all sorts of discounts and stuff. I’ve been going over the events calendar to pick out things that are interesting to me and it looks like the week is going to be very busy. I can’t wait for it all to start. I can tell it’s going to be awesome!

Then the week after Intro Week classes begin and this whole big studying-abroad adventure will begin. I feel like a big bundle of mixed emotions; excitement, nervousness, glee and a bit of fear. I’m sure everything is going to be absolutely fine though, so far things have worked out pretty well for me.

I don’t know if I’ll even remember to write a single word on here, but by all means give me a poke if you want to hear about what’s going on this week. I’ll try to remember to write a little something every night, even if it’s just so I’ll have it all written down somewhere. I’m gonna put a fresh battery in my camera and try to take lots of pictures.