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Cheers from Leeds

I couldn't think of a better title, so you got the stereotypical British greeting.

View Studying abroad in Leeds, England on lmckenn6's travel map.

A lot has happened since I last wrote. I’ve met at least 20 new people in my residence and I have enjoyed all of them. Tons are from India, but I have met people from Poland, Germany, China, Australia, England, Greece, Spain, France, and Nigeria…oh, and America. Everyone is really friendly and they enjoy going out as a big group.

I never realized how much attention one sweatshirt could attract. The other night, I took a walk with a few of my new friends and I wore one of my favorite hoodies, which says "Oregon" on it. I cannot tell you how many times I was stopped on the street by drunken British men. I naively wore it out without thinking that it was a big American stamp. So, my word to the wise is, if you want to blend in, never wear anything that clearly references your mother country, especially if it’s the oh-so-popular America. On the other hand, if you want to have a good conversation starter and a way to meet tons of people, please do so.

The nightlife at Leeds is completely dedicated to college students. There are 3 different universities all next to each other, and clubs and pubs surrounding them. Apparently there is a special every night, and people take these events seriously. I saw many people dressed for a club in clothes that I wouldn't even imagine owning. Besides the fact that they weren't exactly my style, they seemed SO expensive. People really dress up! Regularly! I went to the club for the first time this past weekend. They are really fun, but I am not sure if I can handle it as often as the regulars. I actually know I can't. I have been introduced to a drink that is nice for those who don’t generally like the taste of alcohol. It’s Strongbow (an alcoholic cider) and black current (flavored syrup).

I went clubbing for the first time this past weekend. First, about 10 of us walked to a pub near my residence. The pub was like this massive restaurant, except it served alcohol instead of food to hundreds of college kids. All of us sat at a giant picnic table in the Beer Garden and had a few pints. When everyone was feeling the pints, we went to the city center for clubbing. That was crazy. Leeds is crazy expensive for the clubs, but one of my new friends Nathan paid my way in. When we were in the club there were all of these guys trying to dance with me. For the most part I was ok with it… until I would get a squeeze of the butt or a spin-and-try-to-kiss-a-stranger… then I would dance away or grab one of my friends to dance with me.

The other night, well at 3:45 in the morning, the fire alarm went off in my residence. One hundred and fifty people were woken up out of a dead sleep to this BLASTING alarm. My first instinct was to find my room key because I didn't want to be locked out if we had to come back in. Then, I realized it could actually be a fire and the last thing I needed to worry about was a room key. Turns out someone was smoking in the hallway. Tisk tisk. Another word to the wise: Don't smoke where there are 1) smoke sensors and 2) ear-piercing alarms.

That actually wasn’t the only time it happened. Either the following night or 2 nights later, the same thing happened. It occurred right after I received a drunk dial from one of my new friends here. So, even though I was wide awake by then, it was still very disturbing.

I have been getting my courses (modules in England) straightened out. It appears that students are only allowed to have 4 modules AND they are required to have one day off a week. At first I had 2 days off, but now I only have Wednesday off. For each course, you only meet for one hour of lecture and one hour of seminar (or tutorial). So I definitely will be having a lot more time on my hands. Also, I found out textbooks can be rented from the campus library, instead of students having to buy them. If only schools in America did this!

That’s all I have for now. Oh wait, I forgot to say when I was leaving the Amsterdam airport and going through security, the guard read my initials LEM on my backpack and started laughing. He said that where he is from (I have no idea where that is), a lem is a really drunk person. He also showed his co-worker my bag and they both shared a laugh. I couldn’t tell what their accent was, but I hope it wasn’t British. Otherwise, I will be laughed at a bunch walking around campus.

I posted some pictures that can be seen in the gallery. I like it here, but I miss home every day.

Posted by lmckenn6 01:55 Archived in England

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Nice pictures. It sounds like you are fitting/ blending-in as long as you do not wear your "Oregan" sweatshirt. I remember just after the 9/11 attacks when I was traveling routinely to Milan, Italy that I could not wear any USA signs as my safety was at risk.
I think renting text books is a great idea. Enjoy your classes!

by Tom Menzel

OMG! Sounds like you are having a great time! I can't believe that about the classes (modules) and RENTING textbooks!! (I am Jealous) I almost peed my pants reading about the LEM airport thing that's so funny! I hope all is well with classes and I see you are meeting people so that is great! :) Best Wishes and have fun!

by Mallorie Gerwitz

I am glad that everything is going so great for you! You have meet a lot of people from all over! Your classes sound good, but it sounds like its taking some getting used to. The clubbing also sounds like it was fun, I would like to see you dancing away. :)

by Lisa C,

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