So Long US, Hello UK!
The start of this term is looking a little different. Instead of getting ready to start classes up at Dartmouth, with all the new 25s, I am back home in Pennsylvania. That is because, in a couple of days, I will be flying to England to start my Foreign Study Program(FSP) at Queen Mary University London, studying English and Creative Writing. I will be staying there till December, where I will live with other Dartmouth students, some on my English/Creative Writing program and some who are doing others, such as Government or History.
It has definitely been weird seeing all of my friends back on campus conduct start-of-the-year activities; they catch up with friends, meet the new '25s, and figure out where their classes are(especially since 98 percent of classes are now in-person). But I am really excited to do my own start-of-the-year activities, like taking the Tube to my school, going to a pub with my friends, and taking in the historic London as the weather turns brisk.
I think the cultural differences will be interesting to navigate. Of course, there are a lot of similarities between the UK and the United States. However, the college system varies widely between the two, especially on things that I am used to at Dartmouth. For instance, many students commute to schools in the UK, sometimes by driving or taking the train. I'm used to rolling out of bed and skateboarding to my class on the north side of campus, so catching a train for my classes is going to be an experience. Not only that, but the classes do not meet that often throughout the week. Back at Dartmouth, classes will meet often either two or three times a week. In the UK, classes will sometimes meet for less.
Even though I will experience some differences in the country I will be staying in, I am excited for the experiences I will have. I can't wait to see a show at the West End, meet some world-class professors at QMUL, and grow close with the people on my program!