After getting off the bus in Bloomsbury, I was handed my luggage and struggled into the foyer of the Florida State University (FSU) Office building with the rest of the arrivals. We were ushered into a brief orientation where they gave us our schedules, a tote bag, a T-shirt, an Oyster card with £70 (to use for public transport, aka The Tube or the double decker red busses), and asked us to sign a form stating wether or not we got our passport stamped with the “student visitor” stamp. Well, this is when I panicked. My passport did not get stamped! They now have electronic tellers in many airports that just scan your passport and let you through, but because I’m a short term student I needed to have the stamp; so now I have 30 days to leave the country and come back in to get the stamp, or go to the U. S. Embassy. I assume I’ll just take a day trip to Paris soon. Might as well make the best of an unfortunate situation!
After the check-in, they said our flats would not be ready for a few hours, so some friends and I went to lunch and had some amazing Turkish food. I wasn’t very hungry from stress and being awake for so long (and it was only 2:00pm), so I ordered an appetizer: salmon skewers with sweet and sour sauce.
Once the flats were ready, it was a mad dash to get up the four flights of stairs in our building – which was built in the 1600’s – to see our roommates and get beds. I ended up in Flat 5 with 8 other people! I’m in one of the bedrooms with my great friend Nikki from Chapman. Of the 9 of us, 7 are my fellow majors from Chapman and two are from University of Pennsylvania. 4 girls and 5 guys. Suffice to say, it’s always a party around here! The flat has a great kitchen and living room, but the bathrooms are really small, especially the shower, which is 2ft x 2ft. Oh, well. My room has a beautiful window and lots of storage, so there’s enough room for my insane over-packing. I bought a few pillows, some string lights, and a floor mat to make the corner my own, and having polaroids from home of my family and friends really helps keep them close. I found a card hidden in my suitcase from my mom, along with an endless amount of food, mini stuffed animals, a deck of cards, and Cards Against Humanity! It was like my suitcase was a treasure chest. Thanks, Mom! I also brought a keychain my best friend, Lana, got for me from Paris as a 16th birthday present to attach to my flat key and student ID card. I’ve never used it for fear of ruining it, but I decided that was ridiculous and brought it back to Europe. It reminds me of her, which is comforting, and it’s beautiful! I’ve pictured it below along with my little corner and the front of the building. The first day was so hectic and I cried a few times from being homesick, overwhelmed and overtired (we’re talking way over 24hrs here), but I’m getting the hang of things now and feeling much better. More to come soon about my first few adventures!