Sunday, 9 January 2011

And so it begins

So yes, I have decided to keep a blog during my semester abroad.  Creative idea right? I will try my best to keep this updated, but we will see how that goes.

Today is Sunday, and I am getting ready to head out to City Center to run a few errands with a few girls to get things we need for our room and for classes, which start TOMORROW.  At University of Glasgow I will be taking 4 classes, Bagpiping, Scottish Literature, Exploring Scottish Culture and Black and White Photography.  In case you couldn't tell, I decided to take classes that were very unique to where I am studying, since, unless things have changed since I left boston, there is no bagpiping class there that I was aware of :)
I arrived in the UK about two weeks ago, so I will do a very brief overview of what I have done since then.  After the chaos caused by the very poorly timed blizzard which cancelled our flight, we left Ipswich and arrived in London on the 28th.  The 5 of us explored the city for the next 2 days, which was so much fun.  We saw the Tower of London, Westminster Abbey and the street that JK Rowling modeled Diagon Alley as well as taking a bus tour of the city and exploring many of the famous bridges and walkways by day.  At night we went to see Wicked, which was AMAZING. It was my first real theater show, and I absolutely loved it.  I would LOVE to go to another show in London while I am here, but they might be a little bit pricy for my already dwindling travelling student bank account.  We shall see though, I will be in London quite a few times this semester, so I might just have to see another show.  Here are a few pictures of our adventures in London.

The Westminster Abbey

The fam by a telephone booth, with big ben in the background nontheless

The 3 of us outside of the theater after Wicked

All 5 of us by the Abbey

Then on New Years Eve we took Lauren to the airport to send her to China for 3 weeks to visit Scott, before she comes back to this area to stay with me for a weekend:)  After waiting at the airport for about 7 hours since we got there SO early, the 4 of us finally boarded our flight and headed to Glasgow.  We went out to a DELICIOUS 3 course meal at a small Italian restaurant, and rang in the new year in the comfort of our adorable hotel.
Our New Year's Eve Celebration

My delicious dessert, champagne and red berrys with lemon sorbet

Happy New Year!

Hannah, me and Kennedy in 2011!

New Years Day we toured around Glasgow a bit.  This proved to be difficult since nearly everything was closed due to the holiday, but it was still great to get to walk around, and see the city center and my campus.  We took a bus tour of Glasgow, which was so much fun.  Glasgow was also the first place we experienced Dad driving on the other side of the road, which he handled very well, but was an interesting, and at time slightly stressful situation.  The next day we took a train into Edinburgh, where we went to another castle, and toured around, this time checking out the Crown Jewels.  Edinburgh was very cool, but much more touristy than Glasgow.  Then on my family's final day in Glasgow, they helped me move into my apartment, where I will be living with 4 other girls, all grad students, from the US, France and India.  One girl still has yet to move in, but they are all very nice, and one of my roommates, Kristin, is so much fun and I have been spending a lot of time with her which is awesome.  She is here studying creative writing, and has been here since September, so is full of helpful information while I am trying to find my way around.  After running errands and moving in, we went to a movie at a really quaint tiny movie theater, and then out to dinner.  After spending my last night with everyone in the hotel, my parents and Hannah dropped me off at my apartment on the 4th and I was officially in my home for the next 5 months!
The first two days I pretty much just settled in.  On Tuesday after my parents left, I moved in all my stuff, and then went to meet Ian, another study abroad student from Boston College, who was arriving that day.  We walked around the city for a little bit, and then went to meet my roommate Kristin and her friend Olivia at a restaurant near my house.  The next day Ian and I met with our advisor, toured around a bit more, and then I went to the Kelvingrove Museum, which is an awesome, free museum with art, history and animal exhibits.  I will definitely be spending some of my free time there! That night Kristin and I cooked dinner together, and then went to bed early because I had to wake up at 7 30 for orientation the next day!
My new Campus

Me on campus:)

Still campus, looks like hogwarts

JK Rowling wrote some of Harry Potter.  We eventually split up, and about 8 of us walked along the Royal Mile and explored.  Then 4 of us, me Betsey and Nicole from New York and Becky from Wisconsin, all climbed the tower which was SO cool, and I have a bunch of amazing photos from the top I will add soon. Then we headed back, and warmed up before our night time activity.  Saturday night the International Society arranged for a Celidh which is a traditional Scottish Dance.  From 8 to 12 at one of the campus unions they have live music and all of us learned how to dance in traditional Scottish style.  It was SO much fun, Kristin came with the girls and I who live down in Kelvinhaugh, and we met up with the rest of the group who all live up on the other side of campus there.  Then after the Celidh, the whole group of about 150 of us moved to Club Viper, which was a dance club near the Union that agreed to let us in for free.  We stayed out very late and had an absolute blast.  My feet were a little tired this morning, but it was definitely worth it.

So that's all for now, I'm about to go eat dinner and then get some things set up for school and try to go to bed somewhat early for class tomorrow.  I will hopefully update this soon to write about how my classes are and everything like that.

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