Orientation and First Week Recap (rockin!)

It might be easier to just get the words out of the way first and then make a separate post with pictures. I’m just trying to get it all done now that our wifi is finally functioning!! I’ve found that living in an apartment building with 4 flats of about 4 people each, everyone on the internet at the same time = internet that seems almost like dial up (okay, that was an exaggeration, but still. I like my internet.)

The beginning of last week mostly consisted of the program directors talking at us about expectations of academics, activities we should do, how to assimilate ourselves into british society (jk, how to make friends), etc. There’s no way around stuff like this so it was expected, but still, we mostly wanted to get out and around Bath. That did happen, and we learned where to do our grocery shopping, food being very high on Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. In case you ever come to Bath, Sainsbury’s is the most similar to what we have back in the states, and they have ORANGE BAGS which I think is super cool. Iceland is where you go for cheap frozen food (good for our french fry habit) and also cheap toilet paper, soda, beer, etc. Things you have to think about.

Probably the MOST FUN PART of this week was taking our diagnostic exams! What happens is each professor gives a prompt for their class so you have to write an 800 word essay responding to this prompt. While jet lagged and tired. Sounds great, right? It was. All mine weren’t disturbingly difficult so I was fine but I couldn’t imagine having taken a class where I didn’t know the subject matter, and then taking one of these exams.  We took two on Wednesday and two on Thursday and somehow survived. Free time was spent getting to know the quirks of my roommates and also exploring Bath a little bit more.  We also toured Bath Abbey, which has some nice stained glass, ceilings, etc.

On Friday we took the bus up to Bath University (or BU) to check out the campus, gym, student commons, etc. Definitely very 70’s and concrete campus. A lot of people who go there study “sport” I guess and all sorts of sports management stuff.  There’s another popular major but I forget… anyway, it’s different than Bath Spa which is further out of town in a different direction where the focus is on nerdy, literary stuff. The gym was naiiiiiice but I was not about to spend £100 + on facilities which I had to take a BUS to get to. I’ll attempt to jog, thanks.  So far that hasn’t happened (hello, busy and having a great time) but I’m sure it will.

Saturday we toured some markets! I love markets! The first one, Guildhall, is open all the time and has a used book section (where I bought some cheaper LOTR books for my class that I hadn’t gotten yet), some noms, wool, costumes, tiaras, the like.  The next one was by the big Sainsbury’s and had lots of food so we picked up some vegetables, bread, and brie (which I may have eaten all of… oops). After that my flatmates and I got more groceries, went home, and promptly collapsed for the whole day, taking a break to eat french fries.

 

Bath itself:

This place is gorgeous.  I profess to love places like Boston but really, I’m a Brunswick, Maine, girl at heart. This city, however, is amazingly sized, amazingly cute, and also I haven’t encountered a sketchy area! I hear it is very safe and it really seems like it (don’t worry Mom, I’m being careful!). The weather is obviously rainy (THIS IS ENGLAND) but like… It’s fine. I prefer it because when it’s sunny it’s colder (boo). Might need to by a liner for my Barbour.

The staff at ASE are so nice and friendly, and also BRITISH which would make anybody, even Nicholas Cage, sound cool, but I think these people would also be cool if they were, dare I say it, American. It’s hard to get used to a whole new way of doing things after finally acclimating to W&L but change keeps me young.

Nightlife: I won’t get into the gory details because this is a family blog, but I’ll just say it, I’m enjoying being of age here. Not in a crazy way but it’s nice to be able to get into a club or just get some wine to have with your dinner. The bars and clubs I’ve been to are great so it’s fun to experience what I guess is just a difference between small town frat parties and what people do in cities for fun haha.

Pictures to come ASAP, now that the wifi is finally workingggggg.

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