A Swiss, Chinese, Japanese, Portuguese, Singaporean, and American walk in to a house. While this may sound like the beginning of a bad joke, it is in reality the next 8 ½ months for me. This is the geographical breakdown of my housemates. And identifying our countries of origin only grazes the surface of our cultural differences. I have never experienced diversity like this, and I can already tell I am growing. We’ve exchanged country holidays, card games, recipes, and much more!
When I left my family at the airport to enter security, I had only a vague idea of what my experience would be. I never anticipated it to begin so rapidly and learn so much in just my first week. Ali and I began our adventure together at JFK Airport and met with Matt and Bridget at the University.
The past 8 days have been filled with fascinating conversations over minute details starting at the most fundamental, like pronouncing an unfamiliar word, and ending with in depth discussion of our countries education systems. There seems to always be something to talk about!
More generally, getting settled in has been a slow moving process, but it has finally sped up as I am feeling more comfortable. I have begun exploring the city, discovering amazing relics, delicious foods, and tea shops. Here are some pictures of what I have seen so far:
And we can’t forget the York Minster:
Clearly I’ve been fortunate to visit many different locations, but some settling in details continue to give me challenges, such as getting a phone, opening a bank account, organizing courses that begin next Monday. However, as I go to department meetings the academic system is becoming clearer. The transition from our small liberal arts college to a large University has been a positive experience. I have come to appreciate Holy Cross’s close knit community, but simultaneously I’m glad to have a change of pace for the year!
There really is too much to tell! But for now rest assured that all is well. And that in 8 1/2 months this first week will merely be a blur in a year of experiences.