A view from a London stroll

A view from a London stroll

The eye-catching flora outside of the Tower of London

The eye-catching flora outside of the Tower of London

Hey Montovallians. It is with both great pleasure and great sadness that I must tell you that I have officially begun my courses. I attended my first class on Sept. 30.

First off I will say that drinking is definitely more common on campuses in England. There is a bar on campus inside of the cafeteria. It’s literally in front of my dorm.

Also, the first week at the university is called fresher’s week which consists of freshmen being taken to pubs and clubs to party by student faculty members. This way, the students can have a good time but also have someone watching over them to keep them safe. This is basically the “fresher’s” time for complete freedom legally with alcohol and socially from parental control.

Even with an insane next week, I have still managed to make some relaxed friends with my flat mates and fellow ISA students. I am so glad that I did come with the ISA program because it provides many enjoyable excursions and an easy way to make friends.

There are plenty of free excursions that ISA offers and they take you all over London and to other parts of England. I actually went on a walking tour of London with my fellow ISA students and we saw Russell Brand hanging out in-front of Big Ben and promoting a Go Green campaign.

Though Russell Brand was exciting, some of my favorite moments that I have had so far are with Reading’s Kickboxing society. They are fun people but also pretty vicious on the mat. During one of the sessions, the current members demonstrated sparring and one guy’s nose almost began bleeding because of the hit he got to the face. I would never want to make these guys mad.

I realize that with all of this extra summer I have had, I’m not used to being in a set schedule and am having to adjust in getting back into the groove with classes. It’s only been my first week and I already have a book to read by Oct. 8.

Campus life seems, so far, to be a lot of drinking and partying but also lots of school work. I do live in a more calm flat however, which is nice. To be clear, a flat is what the sections of the dorm one lives in is called at Reading University. In my flat, there are around 28 students. As a flat, instead of partying, we play a lot of Cards Against Humanity and share loads of pizza.

With all of the group excursions to places like Trafalgar Square, Big Ben with Russell Brand included, Buckingham Palace etc…it’s easier to adapt to England living in a more slow paced manner. Also, Reading University offers a wide selection of clubs and societies, so it’s easy to find people you have something in common with. I can say so far that I am thoroughly enjoying my English University experience and have had no issues in making some amazing friends thanks to ISA.

Developing and English Accent:

Every year or so, in Trafalgar square in London, a new statue is erected on the empty fourth plinth. Trafalgar Square was built to commemorate Horatio Nelson, an admiral who died during the Battle of Trafalgar. The Admiral, along with two others, are located on the other three plinths in Trafalgar Square.

Now, what I find strange is that the statute currently on the fourth plinth. Trafalgar Square is filled with elegant buildings, beautiful fountains and finally a massive blue rooster statue in the middle of the street. I kid you not. It is one of the stangest things I’ve ever seen. Definitely unexpected.

The blue rooster statue currently inhabiting Trafalgar Square.

The blue rooster statue currently inhabiting Trafalgar Square.