Thursday, January 27, 2011

Week 1/11 Complete.. Almost

Ello! My first week of classes is almost complete! I figured while I'm in between classes I might as well post. My classes have all been quite easy and very different from American classes so far. I'm in 3 classes - each have 2 lectures a week and 1 seminar (2o people from the lecture) that are each an hour long. So far I've never actually had to stay a full hour for a class (one lecture we got out after 30 minutes!) The only real similarity to Stony Brook is that the lectures are filled with about 150 students each which I'm used to between that and 500 students at home. Seminars have been funny because all the lecturers are interested in hearing about how businesses/marketing works in the US. I learned today that Dasani water isn't carried here anymore because they found out it was tap water in a bottle and tv show's and adverts aren't allowed to have product placement in their shows. (They didn't know that the judges on American Idol have Coke cups on the judging table) So class so far has been a success. I feel like I should be doing some sort of work, but none has been assigned. There is only one assignment that is due in May for each class :)

I received a package from my Mom yesterday. I made her send me American Kit Kat's because the ones they sell here are atrocious. She also sent other unnecessary items like towels and Bandaids. Somehow someone's defensive driving workbook got in there too and traveled 4,000 miles to me.. Really necessary.. Thanks Mom!

This weekend should be fun.. (No birdcages will be danced in) Brittany will finally be done with finals so we plan on going to dinner and going out a few nights. We just found out that it's the first ever restaurant week here. (Shout out to Jason.. You would be so proud) So we plan on going somewhere Saturday and getting 2 courses for ₤10. Unfortunately though, we will be retreating back to our dorms after and not staying at a Ritz Carlton on Jason's dime. After this weekend I have 3 full weekends of travel.. London, Scotland & Germany. Should be fun!


New Business Building where all my classes are.
Gross, British Kit Kat.
First rainy day! Luckily received my rain boots from home today!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

The Studying of Study Abroad Begins..

Hello! I've been getting quite a few complaints that I haven't posted recently since here it goes! A lot has been going on the last week and classes start tomorrow. I've gotten so used to filling my days with going out to lunch, shopping and going down for dinner with everyone from our hall that I've forgotten that we actually have to go to class here. I will be spending way less time in the classroom here then at home (3 days of classes, 2/3 hours a day) so shouldn't be too bad. I have to, however, get up at 8 am tomorrow. Today I went and bought notebooks, probably something I should have brought from home. It cost me $10 for two notebooks! I wanted to get a milkshake because all the usual candy bars here like Kit kat's and Twix taste differently, but they were closed including a majority of the shops here. It's hard to get used to stores closing at 6 or 8pm during the week and being closed on Sunday's.

A lot happened this week so I can't remember specifics! Brittany and I went for Sushi one day and cooked dinner on Saturday since my food plan only gives us lunch on the weekends. We made tacos and baked potatoes and were SO happy. It was nice to have some normal, American-type food. I miss things like that - Taco bell, Applebees, My family.. I suppose. (Just kidding! :) )

I'm starting to get used to the lingo here: rubbish, lift, clicking (cracking your fingers), queries (questions), but I still can't get over everyones accents. I constantly make my neighbors say different words. My new favorite is Harry Potter! They get slightly annoyed by it, but then they make me say door, dog, talk, New York and laugh hysterically. We all get along very well.

I guess I should get some rest before I start classes tomorrow! I will post again sometime this week to let you all know how it is going!


PS. Here are some pictures from this week..

The cutest hotel located by Newcastle University (above).
The view from the top floor of my dorm, Claude Gibb (above).
A statue Brittany and I found outside the Sushi restaurant (above).
The "town wall" (above).

Monday, January 17, 2011

It's Mum Not Mom!

Ello! (I'm getting more British by the day) Since I learn so much each day I figured I would just keep an ongoing British-isms/ fun facts list:
6. A jump rope is referred to as a "skipping rope".
7. Some of the students here watch Jersey Shore.
8. Starbucks charges a luxury tax if you choose to stay in to drink/eat.
9. A line is called a "queue".
10. Every student I have asked is 18 years old.
11. Everyone makes fun of my accent! They always ask me to say dog, coffee, New York etc..

Things are starting to become slightly crazy here. When I first got here and started posting I was basically the only one in my hall. Now 5 other people have moved in. Everyone that lives near me has been very nice. They knock on my door when they're going down for meals so I can join them. Most people started classes today. Lucky for me I don't start until next Monday because I go to the business school. I've learned the education system here is quite confusing. I have about 5 teachers for each class and go at different times and to different rooms throughout the week. I am anxious to get started and see how classes are. Once classes start I know it's going to go quickly because it's only 12 weeks! Tomorrow will be one week since I've been here! It went so quickly and I've already seen/learned so much. We plan on going out tomorrow for the first time so it should be fun. I'm trying to get everything prepared for classes before they begin so we'll see how well that works out in the coming days. Will post again soon!


Thursday, January 13, 2011


If anyone plans on traveling to England soon (which I know a few of you are) here are some things you need to know:
1. The elevator is called the lift.
2. Cheers (one of my favorites) can be used to say thank you or see you later.
3. Don't use the word garbage because no one knows what that is. It's "Rubbish"
4. You have to ask for the check at a restaurant.
5. The drinking age is 18.

I forgot to mention the other day that when I went to pick up my cell phone they assumed I was an American student studying medicine. I set the record straight and told them that I was LOOKING for a male student studying medicine. A british husband that is also a doctor doesn't sound too bad. I told them that I had studied fashion back at home so of course they asked me which of them was dressed the best.

Britt took me back to the grocery store Tesco to buy a few more things. I keep forgetting about the exchange rate and bought a can of hairspray for ₤4.70 aka $7.50. Quite pricey so I'm trying to regulate the amount of spritzing I do. We stumbled upon the wine aisle and I said that we should buy some that comes with the cork screw. However that wasn't a cork screw it was a security device..

Today I had an eventful day filled with a fire drill, taking out the rubbish and going to dinner. I was just beginning to relax after sitting at my desk all morning trying to figure out my class schedule. I sat down on my bed with my iPad and immediately the fire alarm goes off. I had a minor heart attack because I didn't know where to go. Luckily it didn't last long and my iPad was still safely on my bed (I was panic stricken when the alarm started going off and I forgot to lock my door Whoops! No one tell my mom I did that because she'll yell at me!) We went to an italian dinner @ 6:30. I always assume people are going to know what I'm talking about, but when I said I'd like a Coke the waiter was awfully confused. The proper term to say would be "a glass of Coke". Good thing Brittany has been out to dinner before because we would have been there all night waiting for the check. You have to ASK for it. Back to my leisurely life.. Cheers!


Wednesday, January 12, 2011

First day abroad..

Hello! I have safely arrived in Newcastle. It only took 1 car, a plane, a train, another plane, another train and a little bit of walking. I traveled a total of 17 hours and a little under 4,000 miles and I arrived here at 1pm (8am in NY). The first flight was fine except for the bad turbulence the last 2 hours. I was talking to the woman next to me for some of the flight and she grabbed my hand to comfort me when the plane started dropping. She was very nice and told me a lot of stories to get my mind off our plane almost crashing. Next, I had to collect my luggage, meet with an immigration officer, change terminals and take a plane. I was initially very nervous that I wasn't going to make the next flight, but my flight from NY landed early so I had plenty of time. I bought something to eat and learned that the credit card machine is different here and I didn't know how to work it (been to 3 stores since then and still don't get it) The next flight was only 45 minutes so it was fine. Once I landed I got my luggage (and sweated away at least 5 pounds) and I took the metro to meet up with my friend Brittany. We went to my dorm put all my suitcases down and went shopping. For ₤68 I bought all the stuff I needed for my room and a prepaid cell phone. While she went to class I began to unpack and am going to finish as soon as I finish this post! It took me hours to figure out how to work the internet here. They don't have WIFI so you need to plug your laptop into the wall, but for some reason my account wasn't working. Although I was running on 0 hours of sleep I stayed up until midnight and finally got it working.

Today, I went to orientation at the library. The weather is very cloudy, but it is warmer than New York. The library is only a few buildings away from my dorm so it was a very short walk. I met a couple of people from different countries and keep forgetting that I need to stop using American words. When I was discussing with the man in finance that I paid for my dorm already he didn't know WHAT I was talking about. It's very funny, but all the people are very nice here. On my way home I stopped at the convenience store that is connected to my building. I bought a drink called Orangina since I saw all of Brittany's British flatmates seem to love it. It is a sparking orange juice drink and is 89 pence. (All the prices here include tax so there is no additional charge than what is listed as the price.) It is very good! For the next week and a half I'm just going to be hanging around campus - get my class schedule together and getting used to living here. I will post pictures soon because of course I left one thing home.. my camera cord.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Goodbye New York, Hello Newcastle!

Hello Everyone & Welcome! First and foremost I would like to introduce myself. My name is Kimberli and I'm a Junior at Stony Brook University. In exactly 3 days I will be boarding a plane to England and becoming a student at Northumbria University. It still hasn't completely hit me that I'm leaving and probably won't until my parents drop me off at JFK. This is my first time overseas and my first time flying by myself (Did I mention I hate planes?) I'm very excited and anxious to get there, but will be more excited after the 7 hour flight! I'm not very nervous about being in a different country because my best friend Brittany will be just a few blocks away. My trip is from January 10 to May 30 which is a little bit longer then all my other friends who are studying abroad. I'm OK with it though because it gives me more time to travel. I already have plans to go to Ireland and Italy in March.

I received my schedule yesterday. I'm only enrolled in 3 classes because their classes are worth more credits each than ours. I only have classes Monday, Tuesday & Thursday's. I'm so used to taking 5 classes, 4 days a week so this will be a nice change. I look forward to spending my time abroad and hope that you will continue to read and experience it with me!