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Student Reports: Ray Henson, Manchester, England, 2010

Ray HensonWell I have finally settled into the dorm and purchased most of the items I will need for the rest of the semester.

I have slowly but surely learned my way to navigate the city both on foot and on the bus (I need a little more work on the bus, I have gotten lost a few times).

I’ve met a few friendly people from the study abroad orientation, and all of my flat mates are nice enough, although the Brits are busy with exams. I am slowly picking up a British accent (or an ability to fake one), and I think it’s mixing with my Southern accent into something quite interesting. Although us Americans and the Brits speak the same language, there are really quite a few differences, especially with tone inflection. I am now registered for classes (one engineering course, one biology course, one history course, and one literature course), and I think my schedule will work out quite nicely. The school system is quite different here. It was interesting to note that although I might have 10 or 15 books listed for a course, I pretty much get to choose which of those I want to read or study for class. At least that’s what they told me. We will see how that works once classes start.

I really like the city here. It’s an older city with 18th or 19th century architecture (at least it looks that way, I’m not really a student of architecture) with lots of public transportation to get around. You can also walk everywhere, which I really prefer over driving everywhere in the US. It’s big enough to get lost in, but small enough to not be daunting. I’ve only explored the shopping areas and the tourist sites, but I will have to familiarize myself with the city as the semester goes on.