On September 16th, I moved into what was to become my home for three months, Swanborough, which. The excitement was in the air, unlocking the door of room C, flat 1 for the first time. Trips, clubs/societies, and other events to look forward to as I woke up the next day, which officially marked the start of my journey as an exchange student in the UK.
Fast forward to December 13th, and I found myself on the realization that the night of December 13th was to be my last night at Swanborough. The next day, December 14th, I woke up to the realization that the journey as an exchange student in the UK has drawn to a close, as I locked the door of room C, flat 1 for one final time at noon or so.
I would say, three months has gone by really fast, even though weekends tend to be super boring for most of the time. This journey has been full of new experiences, fun stuff but unfortunately also annoyances. Events range from very good events, to alright events, to downright awful events.
Since I have covered literally all the major events already, I’m not going to repeat them in great detail…
The first group of events was the welcome week. This was a series of events running between September 15th and September 21st, though I did not participate in all of the events. They were great, I got to meet new people, but a number of them were just downright awful, such as the beach BBQ.
But perhaps the main set of events that made this exchange program so great was the day trips organized by the international student support. I went on five of the trips they organized, and they were all great and fun trips. I once again got to meet new people and made new friends. A lot of new knowledge was also gained during those trips. The first trip was the London trip on September 22nd, followed by the Lewes trip on October 3rd, and then the Sussex countryside trip on October 13th, then the Oxford trip on October 20th, and finally the Stonehenge and Bath trip on November 4th.
In addition to the welcome week and the day trips, ther eare also other smaller events. The Christmas fair between December 5th and 6th was…just another food fair, that’s it. The small trip to I360 was alright, but there were just too few people. The Swanborough welcome event was also great, with some food but other than that there was not much else. Pokemon TCG nights and Pokemon movie nights were also great, especially the movie nights. The party at Swanborough flat 3 on November 23rd was also great fun, I made some new friends there. Nice music and that’s pretty much it. Christmas feast, officially called ‘Christmas in the great hall’ on December 4th was great. Nice food and enjoyable band performances, that was pretty much it. Oh and I can’t forget…the small games night on December 12th where I played monopoly against another person. The game was inconclusive since the other player and the organizer had to do something else. Oh and I can’t forget, the small lunch trip into Brighton with one of my new friends on October 14th. The food was great, but pretty expensive.
However, there were quite a number of annoyances. The biggest of all was the fire alarm. What made it especially annoying is the fact that this bad boy tends to go off every two or three weeks and when that happens, everyone has to leave the building. But two of the cases stand out. On December 1st, the fire alarm went off at like 6:30AM. I was about to get up anyways so I don’t feel too annoyed. However just a few days later the fire alarm went off at like 11PM or 11:15PM, just when I was about to sleep.. But I wasn’t fall asleep completely yet so I don’t feel too annoyed by that.
Another annoyance I found is the loud noises. For the first few weeks of the semester there were literally parties every night in the kitchen and it was really annoying. I really want to just storm out of my room, swing the kitchen door open, and give everyone a good shout so to get them to quiet down, but eventually this kind of partying pretty much stopped.
In terms of the food on campus…I must say, they were great. Falmer Bar has some pretty nice foods, and for the last few weeks of the semester I relied on it for my weekend dinner meals since the canteen I usually went to doesn’t have many options available. But at least the food in the canteen changes everyday, so I don’t feel totally bored. The Co-Op was not too bad; at least they had what I needed for my breakfast – cookies/biscuits and milk.
Laundry…I must say it was alright. There was at least someone who can do it for me, albeit for a small fee of £6. But the laundry service was only good as long as the person who does it is there. Once that person is not there, the service quality basically went from good to awful.
On the academic side..I must say the subjects here weren’t too hard at all. Though I took three subjects I decided to transfer only two subjects back to MUIC. All of the subjects I took had group work and I must say I was pretty happy with the group I was put into. Everyone seems to be knowing what they are doing and I don’t have to constantly chase my group members for work. To be fair, I don’t feel being in hot waters at all during my time here since everyone did their work properly.
And…lastly, the disability support service. I must say, the DSS at Sussex University was great. The most wonderful thing that they did was to get a volunteer to take notes for me during lectures. This is something I haven’t heard off back at MUIC at all. Though I don’t feel like needing to take notes since I’m doing essays instead of taking exams, having this kind of service available is really amazing. The mobility training was also great, and I quickly learn my routes around the campus, though at the end I diverted somewhat from what I was taught, in order to meet my interests.
As tomorrow I will be going back to Thailand, I would like to take this opportunity to say a big thank you to everyone who has helped me, either directly or indirectly throughout this whole three months, especially the DSS staff for the volunteer note taker and mobility training. And of course, I would like to say thank you to all the students I have worked with for group work. It’s really nice working with you all and I will miss you all.
Anyways, that’s it for now…this could possibly be the last post from the UK…