Blogging from Abroad

Hi everyone!

For the past five days or so, I’ve been in England. As I mentioned before, I’ll be studying abroad here at Worcester College within Oxford. After my 6 hour flight to Heathrow, I spent the first three days of my time here in London with other American students studying abroad through the IFSA Butler group. We stayed at the St. Giles hotel, which is in Central London, and I was able to see the main attractions of the city on a tour, attend a play, and explore some of the charms of the city.

Some highlights of my time in London include my trip to Westminster Abbey. I went to an organ performance there one night, and snapped photos of both the inside and outside of the famous building:

My favorite spot within London was the Covent Garden Markets. They had a Christmas tree up that reminded me of the ones in New York City (both in Rockefeller Center and Bryant Square). The markets themselves remind me of a beautiful place in Connecticut called Evergreen Walk.

When I arrived at my college within Oxford after the Butler orientation, I was absolutely taken aback by its beauty. The college is well-known for its gardens and grasses; the grasses remind me of Colby’s beautiful hills in the Spring and fall.

I moved into my room at Oxford two days ago. I am in love with it. It is a huge single with a personal bathroom and a huge desk and closet. It is a shame that I was only able to pack one suitcase given all the closet space I have available to me here. Here’s a picture I captured right before I unloaded the majority of my things (Minus the computer! I had limited internet access in London and, naturally, wanted to check my email before I unpacked).

I have since been navigating around the city of Oxford and learning about English culture. For instance, while there are many Starbucks in the area, I got a strange look when I asked for Hazelnut coffee with cream in it. The barista asked me if I wanted whipped cream in my coffee, and I said that I would actually like cream or half-and-half. They eventually dug some out of the back, but then explained that this was not a common request. I also had a similar experience when I asked for salad dressing for my salad. I have since learned that those in England prefer not to use dressing on their salads! On a related note, I have yet to find cream cheese in England, and I am wondering if it goes by a different name here.

Recently, I disocovered Tesco’s, a supermarket not far from Worcester. I was surprised to see these:

I have always thought that tissues were a gender-neutral product, but my trip to Tesco’s has certainly introduced a challenge to that claim!

Well that’s all for now.

News of more adventures to come shortly,
Kristen

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