Study Abroad Week 1: Freshers’ Week

One week ago, I began my study abroad adventure at University of Sunderland in England. I do not start classes until Monday, but this first week aka “Freshers’ Week” has been surreal so far.

First impressions:

  • A lot of green and brown. Flying into England, those are the main colors you see. There is a lot of grass, and almost all the buildings are brown and look so much alike.
  • Northern accents are not like what we hear on TV. Sunderland is Mackem and Newcastle is Geordie, and people do not like when you mix up the two. There are also many words I hear around here that have different, or no, meanings back in America.
  • The people in the Northeast are friendly and helpful. Strangers on the street will almost always smile at you as they pass by.
  • Nobody cares if you were out partying the night before or have a hangover because it is normal at universities here, especially during Freshers’ Week. You can talk to anyone about how tired you are and they are understanding.

In America, we have nothing like Freshers’ Week, mostly because the drinking age is 21. But here, all uni students are old enough to drink, so it is actually promoted. Unis hold parties and other events specifically for students.

So far, I attended a zoo party, foam party, two DJ parties, a petting farm, participated in a treasure hunt and tried new food, like crumpets and cheesy garlic chips.

I have made so many new friends, both British and international, and I feel so lucky to have found them on my first day here. Hopefully I will continue to make friends as cool as the ones I have now.

Now I am off to the beach for fish and chips, and tomorrow I will be exploring Newcastle. Any suggestions for places to visit in England, especially near the Northeast?


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