Newcastle at Last!

The reality is that I’m exhausted right now. Totally and completely wiped. The last three weeks of traveling were incredible and I’d do it again in a heartbeat, but my feet hurt, my shoulders ache from my backpack and I am totally over sleeping in hostel dorm rooms with anywhere from 4 to 21 other zealous travelers. I’m thrilled to finally be moved into my space in Newcastle!

Almost two weeks ago I got an email from Newcastle letting me know that a couple new housing options had become available and they would be given to interested students first come, first serve starting the following Monday at 9am. Since I was in Amsterdam at the time and didn’t have access to a phone to call internationally, my dear sweet mother woke up around 4am US time to call Newcastle as soon as possible on that Monday morning, just so that I could switch my housing to a room with a bathroom closer to campus. She was successful and instead of living 15 minutes from campus in a small flat with a shared bathroom and kitchen, I’m living in a campus accommodation with my own bathroom less than 5 minutes from campus – score! Thanks, mom!

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When I arrived in Newcastle, I just made my way to the registration desk and a student was on hand to show me to my room. My accommodation included a crockery set (kitchen basics) as well as all my furniture and bedding. Super helpful for an exhausted new international student just looking to eat a dinner that didn’t come from the pre-packaged section of the grocery store and who is ready to plop down and sleep forever. My first night was just that; moving in, getting settled, making dinner and sleeping for just about 12 hours. It was glorious.My first full day in Newcastle I decided I would get to it and finalize my registration that morning. Apparently me and every other international student had the same idea. After waiting in line for about two hours and spending another two hours finishing up the last pieces of my registration, I am officially a Newcastle University postgraduate student!

So far I’ve found Newcastle to be a wonderful city. I spent the rest of the afternoon wandering around trying to get a feel for the campus and see if I could get my bearings. I could not. I got very lost, but with some help from a friendly local and convenient signs places around the city by the university, I made my way back to familiar territory. My housing is directly across the street from St. James Park, where Newcastle United Football team plays. I’m also less than a five-minute walk from campus, which is going to be great for those early morning lectures! It also happens to be surrounded by a wonderful park with great trails for running as well as tennis courts. My room does happen to be on the lower ground floor (read: basement), but for the location and amenities, I am not going to complain. I’ve set to work on sprucing things up and I think I’ll be grateful for my little corner dungeon when it comes to wanting peace and quiet for studying this year.

unnamedI’m looking forward to next week when I’ll get to meet the other students in my course and campus will have the official orientation week. Until then, I’m hoping to rest up, get settled and figure out how to make it to the grocery store and back without getting lost…

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