28 September 2010

Two weeks

Wow, I've been here for two weeks today! So sorry for not being able to update my blog for a few days. I've been quite busy with a few things the past four days or so.

Induction week officially started yesterday. Basically, it's the first week of the term, but there are no lectures - it's just meetings and introductions to things such as the IT system here at UCL, the libraries, and so forth. I still don't have a firm grasp on how things work in my program, but we don't have our intro to the IPP program until Thursday. Hopefully by then, I'll understand better and will feel more at home here. I can say that I at least have a general understanding of the schedules/timetables and how things like the online Portico and email system work. I guess that's a start!

Katelyn and I have been meeting for coffee (tea for me, please!) each morning before heading to our meetings for the day. It's so nice to have someone that I can relate to...she's an American studying here on the same program. We seem to have a lot in common, so that's great! We actually went out for our first pints on Saturday night at the Rocket, the pub that my fellow study abroaders and I frequented last summer. I think we're going to get out and do something fun this weekend too, in mourning of lives that are about to be lost to UCL.

On a not-so-awesome note, I got an email from the loan supervisor here saying that the U.S. government claims I did not file an MPN (master promissory note) for one of my loans. Um, ok're right, I didn't do that. It's just an imaginary file that I'm opening in my account saying that I did it TWICE back in June. Oddly enough, there weren't any problems with my other loan. Argh, government stuff can be really frustrating. On top of this, the U.S. also decided that the U.K. schools would not be allowed access to their online information again until next week, so I have to wait for it to be sorted until then. Super fantastic. Hopefully by next week it will be sorted and I can get my loan money, because I'm going to need to pay my accommodation. I have some of my own money, but that's really supposed to be "just in case" money. Bleh.

Speaking of money, I was finally able to spend some on myself today! I have not bought a single item of clothing or any accessories in the two weeks I've been here. Honestly, I can't believe it either. But, I can say that I genuinely do need a book bag. I plan on spending enormous amounts of time on campus - studying, researching, staying away from the 17 and 18 year olds in my dorm - so I needed a bag that can fit my macbook, a few text books, my wallet, and a few other odds and ends. I finally came across the perfect bag today! And best yet, it doubles as a purse. It's pretty patent leather purple and I absolutely love it. Wish I could post a picture, but the website won't let me link to it. Anyhow, I got it at Debenham's, a large department store over here.

Oh, and I also bought three of the books that I know I'll be needing for my compulsory modules today. We still haven't gone in the system to choose our optional modules, so I'm holding off on those...but I took care of the required ones today. Well, kind of. For every class, there is generally a few books that you need your own copies of, but then there are about a million and one journal articles, chapters from other books, online articles, etc. that are also required reading. It's basically impossible to purchase everything you need for one class. And the reading lists are EXTENSIVE...hence, my belief that I'll be spending countless hours reading and copying in the library.

On top of everything that's been going on, I think I'm getting sick. I hope I'm fending it off the best I can...right now it's basically a sore throat and a bit of a cough. We'll see how this plays out.

So yeah, just a little update from London. Things are ok right now. I miss my family, friends, and dogs a lot...but I'm starting to make my friends here and hopefully that will help with the homesickness.

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