Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Adventures Abroad Part 1

Familiar Faces and Frozen Fingers
Here I am, sitting in a lecture hall. Watching the other students file in, eyes darting, searching for a familiar face. Thankfully, I had my own sitting right next to me. You see it is an odd thing, having your roommate from home be your roommate abroad, but I am grateful. I remember what it was like being the new girl, trying to make connections with people you barely know, while in the back of your mind the constant question remains, “Will I ever see you again?” Being new is hard, even when everyone else is new. Now although I know someone already, I’m still new too; same nerves fluttering in my stomach, which are actually now starting to make their way to my fingertips. Or perhaps that’s just the numbness subsiding.                                                                       
Another fantastic reason why having a built in support system is helpful, is because when you get lost, you’re lost together. Remember that lecture hall I was telling you about? Well, that little bugger was harder to find than the campus map the University sent us would have you believe. It took us about 45 minutes to make it from our apartment-or flat as it’s called here-to campus; a journey that should’ve only lasted, at the most 20.                                                                                    
Luckily, there is a bus stop right out side of our building, and being the jaded Upper West Side-er that I am, I assumed that all public transport would bring you to within a couple of blocks of your destination. However, when the bus dropped us off at the nearest stop and the Uni was nowhere in site, I began to see the differences between London and New York.  And as the bitter British winds of January cut deep into my gloveless, iPhone working hands, the one simple, reoccurring thought in my head was, “Fordham take me back!”                                                                                                        
You see, at FCLC there is no need for residents to be caught up in the silly inconveniences of the weather in order to get to class, no need for umbrellas or coats. The dorms are connected to the class buildings by a nifty underground hallway. Furthermore, there is no real need for alarm clocks really; I once timed myself and it took me seven minutes to get from my bed to my class. Now luckily there were no mirrors on my route, but nonetheless, seven minutes.  And there is no getting lost to class, I mean honestly, I think it might be impossible. Think about it, every hallway leads you to the escalators, which leads you to class.                                                
 “Ello new students,” bam! Snapped back to reality, no more daydreaming of the fruits of the past. I am here at the City University of London orientation, listening to the head of the Study Abroad Department speak about adjusting to different cultures, how excited they are to welcome us and something else that I can’t concentrate on because I can’t decide if I want my coat on or off. Coming in straight from the insane cold to the insane room temperature is confusing my anatomy. It’s like my body can’t decide if it’s trying to stay warm or trying to cool off.  So as I attempt to regain control of my body temperature and try my hardest to concentrate on each and every speech of the day, I look ahead to my next few months abroad and the unexpected adventures that are sure to find me. 

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