The Easter break has arrived and universities all over the UK will be closed for the next month. A break for an entire month, can you believe it?! Many students, international and UK students take the time to travel Europe or visit family back home. I too have made travel plans with my mum and brother who will come and visit, but not until next weekend! So here I am, at a residence hall that truly feels and sounds like a ghost town. I am more than excited to see my family once again, to travel and eat great food. I am however trying to keep myself busy until then.
At the residence halls here at the university of Nottingham, your meal plan doesn’t include meals during this break. It really comes down to a few options for your food: either you go to the grocery store and buy a whole bunch of microwavable meals or eat out in the city center or the local pub on campus. There was also an option of buying a meal plan, but it comes out to around $500 Canadian or 240 British pound sterling; because I won’t be here for the entire month, I figured it wasn’t worth it, several students decided to opt out. I suppose now I’m really, truly, eating like a student. Honestly, I never thought I would crave lemons and salads as much as I have.
Being alone also gave me the chance to recuperate from my cold – and study study study. Tuesday night I seriously considered having to go to the emergency room in fear of an infection. PRO TIP: Going on exchange the CIE requires you to get emergency travel medical insurance. When I was first doing all my paperwork to come here, I didn’t really see the point of getting it. “It’s not like anything will even happen, its just a waste of money,” I would complain to my parents. But Thankfully, I got it anyways, after much persuasion from my friends and family. You don’t want to be caught in a situation like that or even worse and have no way to cover it, that situation could have been a lot worse.
So how has the first bit of my Easter break been so far apart from studying, being sick and complaining about food? Well It started it off with a bang! I went to Portsmouth and London last weekend to see my good friend, who was my roommate last year when she was on exchange in Toronto at OCAD. It was nice to take some time to see museums and immerse myself in all that the city of London had to offer. But to be quite honest, if it wasn’t for Charlotte, I would have been quite lost in the Underground. The TTC has nothing on the intricate subway system of London!
Its amazing how everything felt like it was back in Toronto, despite not being able to see each other in almost a year. It really does show how strong the friendships one builds on exchange are. I’m excited to see how far our friendships – with all the new and old friends I’ve made – go once the study abroad period comes to an end. Will it make us cross oceans? Maybe these will be the friends that will attend special moments in our lives? Or friends that we will write to even when we’re older and settled in life, remembering the times that we were young and had the longing to travel.
Until next time. I’ll see you in Paris!