An International Student of Literature in England.
When we arrived at UEA, we were taken to the Congregation Hall: I quickly collected my keys, signed some documents, and the staff drove me to my accommodation. It didn’t even take half an hour, I have to admit I’m quite impressed by the organisation (especially after going to a chaotic uni in France). They even carried my luggage up the stairs for me! I felt more welcome than ever! Everybody was so nice and friendly to me that I immediately felt at ease.
My accommodation is the Uni Village, it’s a 15 minutes walk from the campus centre (the Square). The rooms there are all en-suite and they’re cheaper than the en-suite rooms on campus. On top of that, the flats are smaller so I figured it’d be easier and quieter to share a flat and particularly the kitchen with only 8 people.
Upon opening the door to my room, I could have thought: I CAN FINALLY SLEEP! But to be honest, I was just excited to unpack and make the room my new home. I was so happy. Even though it was empty, it looked nice and cosy. I was actually gladly surprised by the size of the room which I thought would be smaller. I already pictured myself in there, and I could imagine all the fun times I’d have in my flat, even though it was just me the first day. However tiny, the bathroom is convenient and I’m glad I don’t have to share it. As long as you’re not the size of a sumo, you can fit in the shower – which is good news for most people!
Here are a few pics of the uni village rooms in case you’re curious! They’re all the same so that nobody feels jealous.
If you need to pee,
That’s the place to be.
(Enjoy my poetic couplets! I’m a Lit student, after all.)
Since I was the first one to arrive, I got to pick my cupboards and fridge-shelf in the kitchen which was nice. It’s not like it makes a true difference, though it makes me feel like the veteran of the flat. I remember having this empty kitchen to myself for three days: it feels weird thinking about it now that everybody has moved in. It seemed very big but when everybody is in, I can guarantee it seems much smaller! Once again, as long as you’re not a sumo…
I had the whole afternoon to start unpacking and make myself home. After decorating my room with tons of photographs and some posters, it felt much better! I even had time to visit the huge campus! I waited for my boyfriend though, I was scared of getting lost on campus. I couldn’t believe how large it is, starting with the massive Sportspark. The first evening, international students were offered free meals at The Campus Kitchen which was so cool because I had no food or kitchenware.
I spent the next two days visiting the campus (and I got lost a few times), unpacking everything, going shopping, solving a few administrative issues, like opening my bank account… The first days went very fast, I was so busy. That weekend, all the English students finally arrived, and UEA felt truly alive. Seeing everybody move in with their families and hear their impressions upon opening their rooms for the first time was cool! I’d already met some of my flatmates on Facebook through the University Village group so it was great to finally meet them (as long as many other people).
That evening, when everybody was settled, we all gathered in the kitchen, talked about our families, hobbies, courses, exchanged our phone numbers… I felt more and more at home and was relieved to get on well with my flatmates. Later we decided to go to the nice pub on campus and got a few drinks there. We stayed and chatted there for a while. The next days we spent a lot of time together, exploring the campus. That’s also when we discovered the impressive library. I literally got lost in there. But it is also an exciting place for resources and to study, especially in the “silent rooms”. I can definitely picture myself spending a lot of time in there.
The first week was also a busy one due to induction lectures, fresher’s events… I got to meet more people than ever, and it was reassuring to see that everybody was in the same boat. It is the first time leaving home for most people, and we are all focused on our studies and on being social. My first days at UEA were amazing, and were the start of what I hope is going to be an awesome year. Even after two weeks, I keep discovering places around the campus (there is a nice lake, and so many parks and green spaces), in the city, and most importantly, I’m having a lot of fun.
There were Fresher’s Events on campus as well. Even though I didn’t attend these parties, my friends told me about them. It sounds like they had so much fun and got to meet tons of people. The second week, there were also a few events in Norwich in clubs as part of Fresher’s Week.
I’ve only been here for two weeks, and it both feels like two days and two years. Me and my flatmates feel like we’ve known each other for a long time, which is probably the best thing about UEA. Class also started and the teachers all sound so enthusiastic and interesting, so I am more motivated than ever about my studies. I was slightly worried about being given too much independence all of a sudden, but I’d change it for nothing in the world.