Tuesday, March 6, 2012

According to my mom, it's been a long time since I posted something on here. Sorry about that, it's become busy in St. Andrews, and I'm starting to forget that I'm in a different country. St. Andrews really feels a lot like home, not in the sense that I'm as comfortable here as I am in PA, but in the sense that, in a lot of ways, it feels like an American university. At least a third of the students are international, with a great deal of them coming from the States. This has made assimilating fairly easy, mostly because I don't stick out because of my accent or various cultural preferences. Also, a lot of my friends are Americans from the East Coast, save a couple of Scottish students.

However, there are a lot of ways that a UK education differs from an American one. The main difference is that, as an arts student, I spend a lot less time in class--only four times a week, for a total of six hours. Compared to my usual Eastern schedule of three classes per day, it feels like a vacation and that certainly has its pros and cons. It's been great because I've been able to travel quite a bit so far. I've made it to the highlands, Edinburgh, and the beautiful small town of Crail. (See pictures here, Mom). I've also had a lot of time to hang out with friends and be in town. A few of us have found a favorite local pub with quirky board games and spend our time winning McIntosh Hall pub quizzes (which are huge in the UK). On top of that, we cook dinners together and support our friends' local football team.

This week, Austin's brother, Greg, is coming to vist for a few days and then, in two weeks, our friend Becky will be visiting. Becky is coming to London with us for the beginning of our spring break, and then when she flies back to Munich, we'll be heading off to Oxford to daydream about medieval university life. (Speaking of which, when St. Andrews first opened, all of the lectures were in Latin and students were required to wear their gowns to class and meals. Oh, how I pine for the old days.)

Lastly, perhaps the UK's greatest contribution to western civilization is what is very appetizingly called a digestive biscuit. I hear they sell them in Wegman's, so if you want a taste of what I'm experiencing, pick up a pack. You won't regret it.


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