Orientation Day 1

So we’ve actually started doing things today, it was probably the busiest day of this week of orientation. We started out by having a welcome and general orientation session with the director of the program and getting introduced to all of the staff, who all seem really wonderful. Plus they served us tea and coffee after, and I’m always a fan of free refreshments. That also gave us the chance to chat and mingle with each other, and I got to talk to 3 of the 4 other Oberlin students on the program. Oberlin has the most students of any college this semester, and I had only (briefly) met one of them prior to being in England, so it was nice to meet everyone else.

We then got a tour of Nelson House, which is the main center for the program. We aren’t taking classes at a college or university, like most programs. Instead, our seminars take place at buildings owned by the program. All of my seminars happen to be in Nelson House, but not all of them are. It’s a really nice building that has offices, a library, and social spaces. We also got our books for the semester, which I didn’t have too many of, only two of my classes actually had books that we have to buy. I also had a meeting with the main mentor for all of the interns, such as myself. I have an internship at Bath Philharmonia, which is a new internship, so I don’t know as much about it as some other people. But I am excited for it, it seems like they are going to try to integrate my psych and arts management majors by doing a project on the role of the arts in the community, which will be interesting.

Also got lunch with two people from my house at a Thai place across the street from Nelson House. It was pretty delicious, and not too expensive. Plus, they served us tea after the meal, which is something I am a fan of. Tipping also isn’t a thing here, which was not something I was used to. It’s also strange to me because there’s a lot of emphasis on tipping in America and how necessary it is for people in the food service industry. Every one on the program also did a scavenger hunt around the city of Bath, in teams by house. We started a good bit later than everyone else because we took a bathroom break beforehand, but somehow still managed to get third place, which won us a £ 10 pound gift card to a local grocery store. I also was able to get a SIM card for my phone so that I can use it in the UK without it costing tons of money and some groceries so that I can eat the next few days.

There’s also a lot of social and cultural stuff that we went over that we can do. I’m particularly interested in volunteering at a local church that has a toddler group. I don’t have much interest in religious activities, but I am interested in children, and actually do have experience working with kids in a church setting. I also want to volunteer with a local youth theater, helping with their current production. I’ve done a lot of that before, and want to try and maintain some connection to theater whilst in the UK, as that has been a constant in my life and I would like to try to keep it that way. There are also some other things I would consider doing, like the Jane Austen Dancers, who do Gregorian dances, or some of the clubs and societies at Bath Spa University, which is the local university we get an associate membership to. We’ll just have to see how much time I have, but I do want to try and get to know the locals and get more involved in things.

Fun Fact about the UK of the day: “Trump” is a word using to mean breaking wind.

Also you should check out the blog of one of my housemates: https://take-a-bath.tumblr.com/

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Author: iprefershowers

I (she/her/hers) am originally from California, and a third year double majoring in Psychology and Arts Management, a major I created, at Oberlin College. A lot of my interests lie in the arts, at Oberlin I help run a student dance company, stage manage both departmental and student theatre productions, and teach dance classes. I am continuing this interest and involvement while on the Advanced Studies in England program by completing an internship with the Bath Philharmonia in addition to taking three classes in the study of the arts. I am also volunteering at a toddler group and a youth theatre.

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