hello! sorry this was the first time i had a chance to sit down and update everyone on how im doing in London but ive been trying to keep a list of things so that i don't forget anything!
yesterday was a jam-packed day full of orientation things. my flight arrived a little earlier than expected (around 7am) and upon landing the flight attendant wished us a merry independence day which i thought was pretty funny. once we got through customs and eventually picked up our bags at baggage claim, about 15 people from northeastern had gathered around. we decided to take the underground or tube (only 4.50 pounds) from the airport to the holborn stop (which is the closest stop to campus/my dorm). it must have been very entertaining for everyone else to see such a large group of people wandering around with suitcases and looking like idiots but eventually we figured it out. also a little note about the tube: you have to put your ticket back into the machine in order to get out (since there's zones) and they only allow a fairly small amount of time to get through so my bag got stuck on the other side and i had to pull it through which was embarrassing but pretty funny!
once we got to our dorm, we found out (after asking a bunch of people) that we couldn't check in until 2pm and my class registration was at 2pm as well. so we dropped our bags off at the dorm where they had someone watching them and decided to walk around. it took us forever at first because we kept losing someone and people wanted to do different things so we then broke up into groups. i went with about 6 or 7 other people and we went to this cafe for breakfast. it was very good but pretty expensive, since 1 pound is not equal to 1 dollar, but i figured we would soon learn the area and figure it out.
then a group of us went to a drug store where people went and got phones and i had to "top-up" which basically just means adding money to the pre-paid phone jenny let me borrow. by this time it was pretty close to registration time so we went to campus and waited for probably 2 hours outside which was soo annoying. the only nice thing is that they were giving out muffins and juice and i love free food!! after registering we took a 15 minute campus tour (very different from the hour-ish long tours i give at NU), and then registered our IT accounts at the Library. Campus is pretty small but really cute cause theres just a bunch of small streets around it and all of the buildings are really nice! the library is really cool as well and they have a beanbag area where you can study (im soo excited to try that out!) and a pretty cool spiral staircase in the middle.
then when we left the library (which i just found out was named after a famous economist that i learned about in my Public Finance class) and checked into our dorm which is named High Holborn Residence Hall. It's about a 10 minute walk from campus and is pretty nice! my flat consists of a double bedroom, 4 single bedrooms, a shower, a toilet and a kitchen. I have a single room (i'll post pictures of it soon) and its bigger than i expected. the bathroom situation is kinda strange because theres a little closet-like room thats just a shower and the shower is motion censored so you have to keep waving you hand in front of it the whole time. and the toilet room is very small and actually our toilet seat was broken and on the floor until today when i came back from class and it was back on correctly (although i haven't tested it out yet so hopefully everything is fine). our kitchen was a complete mess because the cleaners weren't able to get to it before we moved in but after class it was cleaned so i'm excited to start using it (although the fridge needs to be scrubbed). my flatmates are very nice as well and one of them is actually in my class so we sat together today!
then i changed my clothes since i felt so disgusting and went downstairs in the common area/bar to meet up with some northeastern people. we ended up with group of people and decided to walk around and try to get something to eat. we found this place selling pasties which was delicious! i got a traditional one which has mashed potatoes, steak and suis (i dont know how to spell it but someone described it to me as turnips) all wrapped up in a baked pastry kinda like crescent rolls. we got them for "takeaway" and walked around this square area which reminded me of quincy market in boston.
when we got back to the dorm we went down to the common room and the bar was open and pretty much everyone in dorm was there so we got to meet some new people as well. i had a few beers which was weird because i just went up and ordered it myself! and although i dont have anything to compare it with in london, i thought it was pretty reasonable prices.
around 8pm (london time) i was completely exhausted and most of the people i was with were going to their rooms so i went upstairs to unpack then go to bed (since i only slept like 3 hours on the plane on saturday night). a friend from india actually ended up coming over to hang out so i didnt get a chance to unpack and i think i eventually fell asleep around 11pm.
this morning (monday) i had to get up pretty early for a welcome session (at 9am) and then i had class at 10:30am. i had breakfast in my dorm which was a lot better than i expected. after the welcome address which was like 20 minutes, i went to the library and was able to check out 2 textbooks for my Public Finance class, which means i don't have to buy the books :) then i got coffee with 2 people from NU and then went to my first class in 6 months!
my professor seems very nice and extremely knowledgeable. my lecture was 3 hours and will normally be from 10am-1pm every day. i also have a class which is like 15 students and an assistant professor which is from 4-5pm every day (except for today). after that i went to sainsbury's which is the grocery store right down the road from my dorm and got some lunch.
there's a lot more i want to share but i really should start unpacking and reading for class tomorrow! i hope everyone had a great july 4th :)