Nate Chapman ’14 – I’ve been in England for roughly a week now, and I feel a lot more settled than I had previously expected. I journeyed here under the impression that I would experience a lot of “anti-Americanism,” but that has not been the case. From the time I got off the plane in Heathrow, the people here have been very kind and helpful. I gave my seat on the tube up to a pregnant lady, and 3 or 4 people around me immediately began engaging in conversation with me, asking me about my plans, and directing me on how to get where I was going. Then, in the train station I helped a woman carry her trunk up a tall flight of stairs, and she pointed me in the proper direction again (which was necessary, as I was supposed to go north, and since the sun never comes out and the street names aren’t labeled, I had no idea which way north was). I think the general idea is that if you show kindness to people, they return the favor, regardless of whether you’re a fellow Englishman or an American.
I met my IFSA group in London and we spent a couple days in the city getting to know each other in the city before departing together for Sussex. I can’t imagine any way our group could be more perfect. We get along great and go everywhere together. The group is comprised 4 guys (including myself) and 3 Girls. Everyone has said it is odd for these groups to have more men than women, but hey, I’m used to never seeing the opposite sex anyway. We took a brief tour of London, saw the production, Spamalot, and experienced the London nightlife. We plan to go back a few times to see some more productions and possibly tour a soccer stadium or two.
As for Sussex, the experience has been great so far. We took a tour of the town and saw the beach, which, regrettably, has rocks instead of sand. Some of the most fun nights here take place just sitting in the pub talking to people over a pint (or 10). We made friends with our British RAs, Eduardo and Jordan the first night we were here and even beat them in a game of Pictionary. We’ve actually gained a reputation for being the most formidable Pictionary players on campus. We practice in between studying from time to time.
I apologize for this blog being a little short and lacking exciting pictures, but fear not, for we leave Friday morning for the Lake District, which I’m sure will bring about a plethora of beautiful images to share. We also scheduled a trip to Dublin for the following weekend after spending one night in a pub talking to another RA, named Adam, and his friends, all of whom are from Ireland. So as I said, more exciting information and pictures to come!