Have had a wonderful Freshers week – actually one and a half weeks of Freshers! There was 3 days of International Students Freshers where we had to go to Orientation meetings and get things organised like getting our student ID cards, finding the Libraries, understanding the printing system etc. There were some fairs and society stalls and lots of students!! The student union building is so much bigger than Newcastle – the building has its own supermarket inside!! There are lots of shops and cafes and 3 club venues which are packed at night! I have found one really cute cafe that I like – called ‘Hidden Cafe’ Its towards the back of the building downstairs so quiter and out of the way. They serve tea in beautiful matching tea cups and saucers and the furniture is all antique looking!! The whole place is just so dainty!! Then came Freshers week (and I had thought that International Freshers was busy!!) I could not believe how many students there were – the line to get student cards was insane – I had waited like 40 mins but this line was at least three times the length!! So glad I got mine the week before!! There were also so many more societies and fairs – The stalls changed each day of the week so each day there were new ones to look at and join. They had a radio station crew live in the union building doing coverage of the week which you could tune into at home – playing songs people requested, advertising different societies to join or things that were going on!! Meanwhile I continued to set up my room, get to know my housemates, socialise with new people – have been making the most of being an “international student” and going to Global Cafe and the International Students Club so have made lots of friends from different countries. Have made one friend who gives me a heart attack every time I leave the house though – (I should get used to him but always get a fright!!) The Squirrel – yet to be named (suggestions welcome!) – who lives outside my window and is always lurking around the main entrance!! I’m trying to get a good photo of him but he is super fast! The other day I was sitting at my desk and heard a scratching noise and he was trying to climb up onto my window sill!! He didn’t make it and fell off – gave me a surprise though. They had a poster sale at the uni so I bought a map and this one to help decorate my room – Its so funny there is so much merchandise here in England which plays off the original saying “Keep Calm and Carry On” … I think this one is more correct:
Then class started – the first week wasn’t too bad, just lots of intro lectures where they gave us lots of reading to do. I only have class on Monday, Wednesday and Thursdays so I used Friday to be a tourist and went to Nostell Priory and Parklands – I had to catch a 20 min train and then a 15 min bus (I got on the wrong side of the bus driver though – I only had a 20 pound note to pay my fare and he was not a happy chappy about it). It was a beautiful National Trust site of a huge house and an insane amount of parkland – I got there a bit early so walked around and found a beautiful lake to sit by, then I did a tour of the Country House. One lecture into the “Country House and Museum Studies” course and already things were making sense to me and I could relate the lecture to what I was seeing!! (How clever of me 🙂 hahaha). I don’t know anything about furniture but apparently this house has the biggest collection of Chippendale Furniture because he came and lived in the house while he designed the furniture. We weren’t allowed to touch it but they did have a collection of chippendale chairs made for the servants which they had put covers on and placed them around the house for people to sit on if they needed to so I sat on one for a second just to say that I have sat on a Chippendale chair. 🙂 Had a pot of tea in the parklands and just sat and enjoyed the sunny weather (see how blue the sky is in the photos!!) Getting back to Leeds was interesting, I got off at the wrong bus stop so had to walk back to the train station along some dodgy area of Wakefield, was kind of freaked out but made it safely. All in all a wonderful way to spend a Friday!