MY FIRST DAY IN SWANSEA
I had been travelling around Europe (England, Spain, Portgual & Turkey) for a month prior to arriving at Swansea University in September 2014. I arrived a day early and thankfully my room at my student village accomdation was open and my housemate was able to let me in and after the 3 hour train ride from London I was able to start unpacking my stuff and settle in for the next 4 months.
My first impression of my room was that it was pretty small but it contained everything I’d need – desk, single bed, bedside table, chest of draws, a cupboard and a wash basin. Our 10 bedroom house was on the main street and was a short walk to all the major needs of the Hendrefolean Student Village – Reception, SPAR, Laundry and the pub ;). After I had unpacked my suitcase containing everything I thought I’d need for my 6 months abroad, the room felt much more homely. After a short journey to the main Tesco to get supplies to tie me over for the next couple of days my new housemate and I wandered down to a local pub and grabbed my first of what would be many Welsh pub meals.
We then retired to our own quarters and I lay in my bed pondering what the next 4 months of exchange would hold for me and how far I seemed from Brisbane.
Over the Friday and Saturday my fellow housemates along with the other 1400 odd students moved into the Student Village. Life and noise filled the village with plenty of movement around what originally seemed like a ghost town. The first couple of days were filled with the admin side of things – getting keys, enrollment, insurance, ID etc. My house had a variety of housemates – 2 Canadians, 3 Welsh (all different accents), a boy from Hong Kong and 3 Englishmen (also with different accents). As an Australian, my accent and I were a novelty to my housemates and spent a lot of my first weekend explaining the truth (or lack there of) behind the stereotypes. One of my housemates was born and raised in Swansea so he was able to show the house around a variety of local pubs as we bonded before the first official Swansea Student Union planned event started on the Sunday night.
The Sunday night was the opening night from the much hyped Fresh & Free. As part of your housing pack you recieved a shirt with a colour for what type of accomodation you were in – yellow for student village (mine), green for woodside, blue & pink for the different on campus housing and orange if you were off campus. The hall was absolutely packed with a bright colours which made it easy to distinguish common ground between fellow students living in your area. The music was pumping and the drinks were flowing and made for an absolutely fantastic night and it was a great way to kick off the week long that is FRESHERS WEEK.
Throughout the week there were different events at the different university run bars and pubs plus the infamous Wind Street (pronounced wine) that covered all kinds of themes that made it a great way to meet people from all over the UK. Freshers Week also consisted of club and sport sign on where Swansea had a broad range of clubs and sports to be involved in.
For more on my exchange to Swansea see the following links: