Hello again! My first week in Oxford has been epic, to say the least. I’ve met so many fascinating people and enjoyed a myriad of welcome activities. Plus, the weather’s been beautiful (until today)! Let’s see if I can recap a little of this week without putting you to sleep…
I arrived last Wednesday morning just minutes after the International Postgraduate Orientation started, dropped everything in my room (which is a corner room and has 2 windows!), and miraculously made it to orientation for the tail end of the first speech. When the second presenter didn’t show up, all of the international math and science kids had plenty of time to mingle, and you know I love talking to strangers. I quickly met 2 biomedical engineers from Australia, an environmental change and policy student from NYC, and applied statistics students from Iceland and Australia. Considering the remaining session was a small information fair, we collected our brochures and decided to go punting instead. This is the British “sport” of floating down the river in a flat-bottomed wooden boat, propelling the boat with a long metal pole (if you’re picturing the boats in Venetian canals, you’re spot on). Best decision we made all day!
That night the Punting Team, as we’re now officially calling ourselves, met up again at The Turf, the pub where Bill Clinton famously smoked “but didn’t inhale.” I was able to catch up with Will on his last night in Oxford after wrapping up his M.Sc. in Biomedical Engineering. He’s the one who originally inspired me to apply for this program and proceeds to inspire me – he was awarded a prestigious fellowship to continue his research in Thailand for the next year! I’m now looking into the possibility of working with an international facility for my research project too… J
The rest of the week was filled with events like crochet, tea and biscuit receptions, pub-crawls, a garden party, meet n' greets, and a surprise visit from my cousin Michael (who’s studying in London), just to name a few. And, my new Icelandic friend, Svienn (yes, Svienn!!) hosted an Icelandic cocktail party for the Punting Team complete with Icelandic music, 2 types of liquor, candy and dried fish!
It’s been an absolutely perfect first week at Oxford! I’m continually blown away by the credentials of everyone I meet, and by the thought that classes were first held in these buildings hundreds and hundreds of years before the USA was even a country. This is going to be an incredible year!! J
Word of the day: knackered (extremely tired). As in “I’ve been slacking on this blog because I have so many activities that by the end of the day I’m nearly too knackered to write.” ;)