It has been officially two months since I shed a tear or 70 as I went through international security at Melbourne Airport. Since then, there has been more tears (I’m a cry-er) but also many amazing memories already made.
I spent my first few weeks in Chester walking (almost literally) every inch of downtown Chester. I was promised a beautiful, typically ‘English’ town centre, fantastic shops and enough coffee to fill a pre-service teachers’ quota. And MAN OH MAN did Chester deliver. A brisk (has to be brisk otherwise my fingers freeze) 15-minute walk from my accommodation and I am in some sort of English wonderland. Black and white timber buildings, cobbled streets, every English shop I love and yes, coffee shops and restaurants galore. Little did I know this would only get better as Christmas mania hit- I will give this ‘season’ the recognition it deserves in a separate blog post to come.
As a CSU Global student I was guaranteed university accommodation at the university of Chester. I have never lived in ‘student halls’ before so this was something that excited me. I spent hours looking at all the options on the University of Chester website and secretly hoped for one specific location. By some miracle, I was placed in Grosvenor House on the main campus of Chester. This mini “studio” room included a little kitchen and ensuite and felt perfect from the pictures. Although a little on the pricier side, I was thrilled to have a little place of my own.
As an international student I was moved in a day before UK students. After being picked up from the airport by the Uni International Team, I found my building and my room quite easily. I got to work unpacking my single (extra-large from Aldi) suitcase and began the process of making this room feel like home for the next 9 months.
Fast forward 2 months and my room, apart from needing a bit of a deep clean, finally feels like home. There are enough fairy lights, Christmas decorations and throw pillows to fill my heart.
I was fortunate enough to be in contact with some people who live on my floor through Facebook leading up to moving in. This really helped when everyone arrived and encouraged me out of my room and into the ‘corridor’. The corridor is yes, a corridor but also the hub of floor 1. Even though I am good 3 years older than most of the people I live with, they were nothing except welcoming, fun and understanding and have remained so.