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Scholar Highlights for Week Ending January 6, 2012

January 9, 2012

Shekiaya:

Jewish Cemetary on the campus of Queen Mary University

“First, I would like to thank Jesus Christ for getting me here. There were many obstacles to overcome before this point, so I want to acknowledge that and give thanks. Now a little background info: A few days before I arrived in London, I visited family in Soignes, Belgium. Even though I only spent about four days there, the waffles were enough to convince me to go back at least once.

I’ve been in London at this point for about two weeks now and I have to say it feels like home already. I do have to say though, that this is mostly because of how much I’ve enjoyed Queen Mary so far. Since Queen Mary has a “true campus”, it almost feels like Spelman in a way. I haven’t gotten around to taking many pictures of the campus, but I did manage to snap a shot of the graveyard in the middle of campus. (Yes, a graveyard).

At this point, I’ve seen mostly central London, but as soon as I become settled in with school and I’m comfortable financially, I’ll be all over the place 🙂 So far I think I have mostly enjoyed being able to shop in some of my favorite stores (TopShop, All Saints, River Island) in a store rather than online, and enjoying free museums! I really have to plan a day and go back to just spend the entire day there because there’s entirely too much to take in at once. There’s more to come. It’s 11:40pm here now, so it’s about time I plan for tomorrow. Thanks for reading. You’re all on my mind and in my heart.”

 Kamille:

“So hello there!!! My name is Kamille Williams. I am a junior, Chemistry pre-med major at Spelman College in Atlanta,Ga. I am a true born and raised Atlantan. I have been afforded the opportunity to study abroad before I prepare for life after undergraduate school. I live with my parents and younger brother in the suburbs. I can say that I have a close knit family that I cherish greatly.

Queen Mary, University of London

Well to recap my journey up to today, my mother and I travelled to London a couple of days before my program began. We were fortunate to have family connection at an airline and get a great discount on tickets. I was very sad that my entire immediate family could not come with me to London (my father and brother had to remain in Atlanta). The beginning of this experience has been a huge weight on my body. This is the first time I have been away from my family, by myself, in my entire life. You can say I live a sheltered lifestyle. I was born and raised in Atlanta, Ga and decided to go to a college in Ga. So I have never been far away from my family. I cannot drive home whenever I want to when I miss them nor can I escape from the hustle and bustle of school when it becomes stressful. This semester shall be an awarding experience for me but right now I feel really homesick and sort of regret this decision I made. I know with my heart that I want to go home and just go back to Spelman but my mind tells me that I need this new experience to grow and become more independent. I know within a couple of weeks I shall be fine because I will be well adjusted to this new lifestyle. I hope that I accomplish all the goals that I have set for myself as well as experience new and exciting things that will be permanently ingrained in my memory. Back to my story, my mother and I left New Year’s Eve and welcome the New Year on the airplane above New York. We were fortunate enough to be placed in First class so it was a rather enjoyable ride. I understand now why people say flying first class is the best. Well once we landed and reached the hotel, my mother and I slept the entire day away. (Cab fare is ridiculous here, my mother paid $109 or £70 from the airport to the hotel, which was a 20 min drive). I realize that I will have to be very resourceful to live off the money my family gave me. (The exchange rate here is almost double against our favor: $1 =£.60 roughly). Yeah, I will become very frugal before I return. Well to this point my mother has left me at my orientation site with my study abroad group. So, she has officially left and I became sad all over again. I really hope I can make it during this semester. Well I know I can or I will.

So, I made friends pretty easily. Everyone is quite friendly since we are all on our own and do not have family here. Its been pretty hard to stay in contact with family with limited access to free internet and wifi. Also the jet lag or accommodation to London is really hard. I try to eat as much as I can to curve the hunger but in the end I end up laying in my room awake for hours. The time difference has effected my sleep pattern as well as my eating habits so it has greatly affected my homesickness. I feel once I get my body in sync I will be less homesick or not homesick at all. But for now I will just coast along hoping that I figure out a plan to cope.”

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