Where I’ve Been
Tagsalnwick castle, america, american football, berlin, bomb, britain, british, care packages, currency, easyjet, england, english, europe, football, france, funny, hairdryer, harry potter, hostels, iceland, keyboard, leavesden studios, london, manchester, mcdonald's, metro, newcastle, newcastle university, newcastle upon tyne, northumberland, paris, peace, ryanair, slang, study abroad, subway, superbowl, the making of harry potter, transport, travel, tube, UK, united kingdom, US, voltage
[I wrote this article for the National Union of Students website. The original content can be found here.] Thirteen years ago, at a small library in Norfolk, Virginia, I chose a book at random, read the summary and decided that it would be my next imaginary adventure. This book was filled with wizards, magic wands,…
I am aware that this is my second Harry Potter related post in a week, but the trip I took last Friday to Alnwick was a last minute thing, while THIS trip has been in the making since the end of April. AND OH MY GOODNESS IT WAS THE BEST THING EVER! ASDHFHFKLKJKJ!!!! I AM…
I visited Reykjavik in December but I never properly blogged about it. For someone who has a college degree, you would think I would be able to describe my trip in a more educated manner. I can’t. That place is ridiculously cool. I have to look at pictures (which I will be posting in separate…
[11/14/2011] Three days and nights later, I am back in Newcastle after a very eventful trip to London. So eventful in fact, that I wish I had a full day to recover, but alas. This was my first time going and just wow. It took a moment for it to in sink that I was…
Newcastle University was the only British University to award Martin Luther King Jr an Honorary Degree.
It’s a big day in America – Obama is being sworn in for his 2nd term and it is Martin Luther King Day. However, something else very exciting happened. Today, I found out that the university that I studied abroad at gave an Honorary Degree to MLK – the ONLY British university to do so.…
If I could sum up a Newcastle winter into one photo this would be it. This was one of the things that mind-boggled me the most: The most accurate article I have ever read. Read more here: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-1334135/As-Britain-shivers-Newcastle-girls-prove-theyre-frightened-snow.html
Oct 6, 2011 In the US, when that lovely 4 week break comes, finals are already completed. At Newcastle Uni, I have two MAJOR assignments due during Christmas break. One of them is part 1 of my dissertation. Culture shock indeed.
[August 21, 2012] Believe me when I say you are going to need it. U.K. loves its coins. Although, the 1 pound coin looks like a golden nugget.
Meet Henry: Henry is the vacuum that can be found in U.K. student housing. I’ve never seen anything like it until I went to England. Kinda cute I guess.
[Sept 19, 2012] If you ever find yourself needing to call a UK number from abroad (USA in particular), they (LLOYDS TSB, yes I am calling you out) tell you to dial 44 (UK country code) and then the number. Well, this didn’t work for me. Dial 01144 and THEN the rest of the…
One tricky thing about getting your MA degree in the UK is the period between finishing your course work and the actual graduation. Aug 31: Submitted thesis Oct 23: Received notification that I completed and passed my course Dec 4: Graduation ceremony Yes folks, the U.K. isn’t like the U.S. where the graduation immediately follows.…
A few days ago, an e-mail was sent out to postgraduate students who were staying in the U.K. this summer to complete their dissertation,*politely* informing us that *Any travelling outside of the UK before [completion of my dissertation] would automatically be classed as an unauthorised absence.” Any kind of holiday during term-time would be classed…
Normally, this is not always the case. Sometimes being an international means that the line at the passport check takes longer. However, Leeds-Bradford Airport decided to bless me. Walking off my (super delayed and full) flight from Berlin, we managed to arrive at the same time as another flight, meaning that there were loads of…
In Newcastle, U.K. a typical day is spent drowning in floods and watching lightning hit the Tyne Bridge…
…a few hours later, blue skies appear and the sun is shining. As if Mother Nature just didn’t dump a month’s worth of rain in one hour. She flooded the tunnels, houses, streets, MY LIBRARY (picture below), and businesses. Metro system is suspended as well as the national rail routes through Newcastle. Cars were also…
I bet you are wondering how a picture of a German beer brand relates to the headline of this post. Well, lads and lasses, this is what I bought after I found out that the plane that I missed was in fact delayed two hours. Let’s start from the beginning… I arrived in Berlin Tuesday…
I don’t think I realized how some phrases are culturally integrated into my vocabulary until I say it and I get a weird look from a non-American. Then, I have to explain what I meant. Unsuccessfully, of course. Me: No way, Jose! Friend (who is from France): What is the meaning of that phrase? No…
I honestly can not believe that I am reaching the 9-month mark of my time here in the U.K. So much has happened in the past year and I know that I have changed as a person because of it. The thought of going back to the U.S. in August is just unreal. I am…
It is no secret that I am a fan of Harry Potter, so when asked if I wanted to go to Hogwarts… Let’s just say I was the first out the door. Alnwick Castle is located about an hour and 20min bus ride from Newcastle in Alnwick, UK. It is currently the home of the…
[Sept 13, 2011] You can pull money (pound sterling) out of a Barclays ATM from your BOA account back at home. Sounds useful when you are fresh off the plane and need some cash and don’t want to travel with a wad of pounds on your person.
[Oct 19, 2011] Or at least not at Newcastle Uni. Of all the hundreds of professor/teaching assistants that are employed here only about 30 are even listed. And none of them are the ones I am looking for. UNLESS!! There is an equivalent that I do not know about?! !!!! [For those who don’t know,…
[Feb 7, 2012] Leaving Terminal 2 at Manchester Airport, I head over to the bus station, thinking to take the city bus back into city center. This nice old guy tells me that it was easier to take the train instead of riding an hour on the bus. And considering that in English cities, they…
[Feb 24, 2012] England wins for the multiple uses of baked beans: You can have them with your breakfast. You can have them with your dinner. You can have them as a snack. Is there anything they can’t be eaten with?!
It does not matter how much you paid for it. It does not matter if you brought a voltage converter. It does not matter if the voltage converter is the best converter on the face of the Earth. Do not. Bring. Your. Hairdryer. Because it will die. And you will cry.
[Oct 11, 2011] The first time I used a UK computer keyboard, I was wondering why I kept getting ” instead of @. It was kind of funny. I literally had to pause, bend over the keyboard and search for that @ button. Wish I had a picture. Also, the $ is on here! there is…
[March 22, 2012] ASDA (the UK Walmart) and Tesco both have delivery programs. So if you’re out of food and are feeling lazy, you can go online, order the groceries you need and a few hours later there is a knock on your door. Bam. Food delivered. And I thought America was lazy. *joking!*
[March 29, 2012] Yesterday I went to see the Mona Lisa (!!!!Paris!!!^$$%#) and was escorted with the crowd away from the main entrance due to the fact that someone left an unattended suitcase in the middle of the plaza. People were hollering bomb in French. Hello Paris, it’s nice to meet you.
[Sept 3, 2011] Items Needed: 1. Scale 2. Suitcase(s) in question 3. Your body weight Step 1: Weigh yourself. Note it (and no you don’t have to publish it.) Step 2: Pick up your suitcase and get back on the scale. Try not to fall off and cause bodily harm. Note the new weight…
[March 31, 2012] If a person comes up to you asking you to ‘sign’ a petition. Keep walking. If a person tries to tie a bracelet on your wrist. Keep walking. If that same person tries to follow after you. Run. Never a dull moment, Paris.
[December 14, 2011] Meaning that at Dublin Airport, while all my friends skipped to the EU border patrol line, I was the only one that had to do the walk of shame [by myself, seriously, was no one on the plane a true international?!] to the ‘NON EU’ line. The guy was so used to…
In England, giving the ‘peace’ sign with your palm facing you is actually known as a profanity. Woops.
[Sept 22, 2011] Me: “Ooo! Ice tea! 99p! Can I have a tea please?” Cashier: “A tea? Ok, do you want milk?” Me: “….. what?” Cashier: “Do you want milk?” Me: “Do you not have iced tea?” Cashier: “Nooo, we don’t.” *gives a bit of a strange look* Me: “oh….well can I change it?” Cashier:…
England: cheers – America: thanks England: proper – America: legitimate/authentic/genuine/actual England: candy floss – America: cotton candy (haha cute!) England: plasters – America: band-aids England: mate – America: friend/ buddy England: hob – America: stove England: wellies/ wellingtons – America: rubber boots or rain boots England: torch – America: flashlight England: petroleum/ petrol – America:…
[Feb 6, 2012 - also known as Superbowl Sunday] Noticeable differences: 1. U.K. does not care for American football. (This is fair, considering the unpopularity of professional soccer – football – in the U.S.) 2. Some Brits call it rugby. (Rugby is not big in the U.S. either, so I really do not know what…
[April 1, 2012] Oyster Card (noun): That plastic card everyone needs in order to use London metro and buses – especially buses because bus drivers do not take cash (a hard lessons to learn). In my experiences with NYC and D.C. public transport, buying a re-loadable travel card means you own it for life –…
1) Ryanair/EasyJet/Etc. – Cheap Airlines. You do not use them for comfort, you use them to get where you need to go for a cheap price. Some hate them, some love them. The main question is – does it take you where you need to go? 2) Hostels – There are good ones. There are…
During the Christmas holidays, I searched in vain for eggnog – that treat that only comes around once a year. Me: ‘Excuse me, do you sell eggnog here?’ Grocery store employee: ‘I’ve heard of it before…but I do not think we have it here.’ Oye.
Mom via Skype: Happy Thanksgiving, are you out of school today? Me: Mom, England does not celebrate Thanksgiving. I have a lecture in an hour. No Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in NYC. No sweet potato pie. No Black Friday. No turkey.
I looked in Newcastle. No. In London. No. In Paris. No. In Barcelona. No.
Only because the locals – the helpful ones – then realize that you have no clue what you are doing and will not tease you for it. My first trip to ASDA (the U.K. Wal-Mart) I attempted to the chip and pin card machine for the first time at the self check out. It kept…
After graduating with a degree in Public Relations from George Mason University in May 2011, I decided to invest in further education. What better way than to do it abroad? Teaming up with the organization Across the Pond (who I recommend 100%), I was able to secure an acceptance into one of the U.K.’s top universities: The University of…