Before I left for Edinburgh I was incredibly nervous about everything- making friends, the food, finding my flat, getting lost etc. I got incredibly lucky and didn’t have too many problems deeper than the fact that my room was freezing cold. But I have realized that some things are different in Europe than they are in the US.
On Sunday I watched the Super Bowl. But I didnt eat pizza, wings or dip, watch any of the commercials, hear the halftime show (I did see it though- I love Madonna) or spend it with lots of girls who don’t really care about who wins or loses. Instead I went to a sports bar with tons of beer drinking crazy fans (It was split half Patriots and half Giants fans) and watch a huge screen next to my friend Emily who was having a panic attack from the game. I would guess that most of the people in there were American but it was so different than the superbowls I have experienced in the past. I left after halftime (oops) but to my credit it was already 1AM. 5 hour time differences suck.
The people in my classes are also quite different than they are at home. Because I am taking a first year class, a second year class, and a third year class, I am not in any classes with similar students. Nonetheless everyone has been super friendly towards me and have continued to ask incessant amounts of questions about the American school system. To their credit, I think a lot of the students at The University of Edinburgh are more independent than the students at GW and possibly a bit more into what they are studying. In my Scottish Lit class my friend Kitty reads about 5 books on the authors we are studying before she attends tutorial. This is not neccesssary at all but she is just so passionate about the authors that she needs to know their entire background. This is true of both of my psych classes as well. During class, any students who brought laptops (its usually about 5 people) are fully focused on the notes- not wandering off onto facebook or checking their email or playing games. It is incredibly refreshing to see people so focused on the professors as I draw notes in my margins and plan my trips for the weekend in my head.
And the streets! I will not get over the streets and the cars. And by that I mean the fact that they are on the wrong side of the road. I constantly have the phenomenon that there is no one driving a car and I always look the wrong way before I cross the street. Not to mention that the walk sign means that you can walk diagonaly across a four way stop. It is insane. And a great time saver.
Also… Sheep. There arent any in Edinburgh but there are a LOT everywhere that we have travelled on the weekends. It is so funny. I dont know where they all come from! They are quite cute though.
At GW I take five classes a semester, participate in four time consuming extra curricular activities, take the weekends to do work and go out 1-2 times a week. In Edinburgh I am taking 3 classes, participate in zero time consuming extra curricular activities, take the weekends to travel and explore the city and go out 3-4 times a week. It’s weird not to be busy all the time but I have to say that I am LOVING it and can’t wait to spend three and a half more months here :)