Good morning everyone! I write to you on the morning of my first day in Exeter – a beautiful little city on the Southwestern coast of England. My name is Julian Kadolph! I am a 4th year English Major with minors in Creative Writing and Arts and Entertainment Technology (AET). There are already several differences that I have noticed while in England and, I suppose, that will be what I focus on today!
Here at the University of Exeter I will be studying English Literature as part of the college of Humanities (already a slight difference from our College of Liberal Arts). I will be taking sixty hours of classes during the week! But don’t be too alarmed – I only have three classes (or modules, as they’re called). My first class is a fairly simple introduction to Study Abroad called The British Semester. This class is considered 15 hours, but I have no idea where that time is going. My theory is that they have included outside of class time in this amount. My second class, Rethinking Shakespeare, is also 15 hours long. My final class is a Creative Writing Dissertation in which I will write a collection of short stories over the course of six months (so be on the lookout for that on shelves soon 😉). This is the largest of my classes, totaling 30 hours.
I had a cup of coffee the other morning, but instead of filtering it, the beans were in the cup and you drank through a lid with a thin filter on it. Already a break form the norm. I paid £2.60 for it and was given 40 pence in return while riding the train. Now, money comes in some interesting forms; whereas, in the US we have one dollar bills, you can’t expect to receive a one pound note – rather, a pound coin! Sometimes you may get a two pound coin, but I have yet to find the elusive piece. Final bit about money, a quid is the same thing as a pound, just like a buck is the same as a dollar.
To be expected, cars drive in the opposite direction from home. Not to say that this has been a big change, but it is noticeable in the way that people walk. Most of the time while in Texas, folks will walk on the right side of the sidewalk or walkway, because this is similar to how people drive. Inversely, people here in Exeter walk on the right side of the path unlike their cars that drive on the left. Even my Australian flatmate Finley is just as confused, stating that in Australia the cars drive on the left and the people walk there too. Took me a bit of time on this one.
Speaking of walkways, the most noticeable difference already in my few days here has to be the size of everything – specifically, how compact everything is. For example, the sidewalks (or pavements) are thin and so are the roads. This makes for easy crossing! Here’s another example: you know how you can go to an HEB in Austin and in almost any aisle you can stand with two or three carts side-by-side? Well, boy-howdy let me tell you something folks, that is not the case. I stopped at a store called Tesco to buy some groceries and you’d be hard-pressed to fit more than two people next to each other in an aisle. I guess that the phrase Everything’s bigger in Texas holds true!
Almost everything, that is…
Except for the bread! The bread is honestly the size of Texas Toast – and that’s the generic brands!
Thank you to everyone that helped me make this possible!
We’ll see y’all later, friends!
This post was contributed by Julian Kadolph, a 2019 Global Ambassador.
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