So much has happened every single day there is no better way to tell you than a daily breakdown. But first, an introduction!
What is really cool about my program, that none of us quite knew, is we have our weeks broken down in a way of exploration. The first two, middle one, and last two weeks we are taking a class called British Life. Each week we have a new topic to learn and explore! Then for the middle eight weeks I have not mentioned, we have academic classes. This week is orientation/ History week.
Sunday, we did a local walking tour through the gardens surrounding where we live and down to the river. The river has a tide since it connects to the ocean on both sides and you can see the water go up and down. It was an absolutely gorgeous day, and all families were out enjoying a Sunday in the park. We stopped at a pub for lunch before heading to the city for our next tour.
The city was a lot cleaner and livelier than I expected with shops of all sorts. We wandered through the streets until we broke off from our guide and were left to explore on our own. The Swiss nine, French four, and “me lonely American” found our way to the second pub of the day. Disclaimer: I am 21. The food was very very very good and I am now a cider drinker. From there, we wandered to Chinatown for dinner and went home after.
Monday was our orientation day were we went to the main campus, met people, took a tour, and had some tea time!! There are some very new changes for me, such as walking ten minutes to the bus stop and twenty minutes on a bus to campus. It is also not simple to change campuses, but I am sure it will get better as time goes on. Second, the busses start at 8:15am and stop at 6pm, which means if you want to go to an activity on another campus you will have to take a taxi or bus back to your place at the end of the event. Second is the fact that we have a bar on campus that serves alcohol. This seems very normal for people here but coming from the states it has been a bit of a shock. We can also have alcohol in our flats and even bring a beer or two down to hang out in our main rooms.
In the evening, two French girls and I traveled back into the city. Another shocker, the city is boppin’ on a Monday night! Like boppin’. Like clubs in full swing and live music flooding into the streets with people all around smiling and having a great time. I think all of us found this amazing! We saw where the Beatles became famous, but chose to leave that for another night. As we walked, we found a tapas restraint with AMAZING tapas. I will have to go back again… even though it’s not super cheap, 2.50 for one thing. In the evenings I tend to leave my “French life” and head to Switzerland AKA I spend my evenings in the kitchen hanging out with the Swiss. I have enjoyed our conversations and getting to know each other very much!
Tuesday we had our first lecture by Dr. Fiona Pogson titled “Liverpool: From Small Town to the Second City of the Empire” . Being American, this was fascinating for me. If I go into the details this post will be more so a thesis. A large section of Liverpool’s wealth came from the slave trade. While they recognize this as a negative and horrible part of history, they cannot deny the wealth this brought to the people of Liverpool. After that, we traveled to the slavery museum to get a hands-on perspective of the slave trade.
Wednesday, we had our second lecture by Dr. Louise Wilson about “Shakespeare, Immigration and British Identity”. I have studied Shakespeare in depth so not much new was told here but I was interested on their want for an individual language with no borrowed words from other countries. In the end, this didn’t happen but was it was very interesting. There was also a test that that immigrant had to take about Britain in order to be a citizen. Same as yesterday though, if I go into detail this will be a very long post. From there we went to a graduation ceremony at a cathedral downtown. It was very interesting to see how they run graduations and their traditions.
Exciting news!!! The heat is finally turned on!! Though I am not sure mine is working. I, along with everyone else, have been so cold at night! In class we also must keep windows open. Even in winter. This will be very hard as it feels like we are doing class outside, but this is the school’s COVID protocol. I will add a picture of me in class at the bottom as well….
Thursday, we started off the day taking the city bus to the creative campus. I am realizing everyday that I need to leave extra time to commute. The day was pouring rain more than usual. When it rains it is not to cold but when the clouds clear up the heat is released and it is quite refreshing. To get to the campus you walk through a security building into a beautiful courtyard that took my breathe away. We toured the creative campus, and I was very pleased to hear we have practice rooms so I can continue my voice lessons independently. We had a seminar on The Beatles, and then headed on our way to find a café. We went into this Turkish café, and I found out what 250g of baklava will get you… it was a lot but the smallest portion I could order. Needless to say, I have leftovers.
We made our way to the Liverpool Central Library into one of the rooms that was now refurbished and… wow!!!!! So beautiful. A lot of tourist/ art/ museum/ sights are all connected together in the massive building. We chose to go next door into the world museum which had an aquarium!! If you know me even a little you know I LOVE animals. I got to share facts about all the animals as we went from habitat to habitat. We also went to the third floor of human world artifacts, the Egyptian wing where I say the most unraveled mummies I have seen and it was a little terrifying but very very interesting. Last but not least, a natural history exhibit with animals from all over the world plus extinct animals like dinosaurs. We only made it through a third of the building, so I plan to visit again Sunday.
Grocery shopping here is not my favorite as it is not so simple. Is it a 30–40-minute commute to bring the heavy groceries home in the POURING rain. A positive though, I have all of my groceries for the week and an umbrella!!
Last day of this blog post is Friday! Today we had a lecture called “The History and Development of the Welfare State” by Michael Lavallette. I found this lecture so interesting. I did not know about the Beveridge document. The document suggested a reason and resolution to the poverty and unemployment happening in Britain in the 1940.
Second fact I found interesting was Scotland’s governmental system. They can get free prescriptions, whereas England you have a set fee of nine pounds and some change. College for schottische students in Scotland is also free but if you are not from Scotland and want to attend school there the fees vary.
The third and probably most adorable fact I learned today actually started in Finland, but Scotland was the second to adopt this type of support. They are called baby boxes!! So, when a baby is born in Scotland the government sends the family a box. The box can be used as a crib and inside there are nappies, food, and a baby book. I think all of these are so cool and now makes me want to move to Scotland. I have been enjoying my time here, a lot!! Next week is Academic British Life week.