Just Like That… March is here!

Hey everyone! I hope you are all doing well! I’ve been great and busy as usual!

On the 10th of February, there was a whole school ice skating trip! Over 100 students went, and it was a so much fun to try out my (very basic) ice skating skills again.  That week, I also hosted open house again. It went really nicely, and everyone enjoyed trying more American food.

Towards the end of February, the president of the UWC USA campus came to visit. As an American student, I helped to host her at the school. It was so cool to hear about another UWC campus and to share our beautiful AC campus with her.

February also is the time that our 2nd year students have their practice IB exams. Because these exams are so stressful, the first year girls in my house decided to make a dinner for the 2nd year girls. It went over really well, and our 2nd years loved it!

On the 25th of February, we had a black and white ball! Black and White ball is an annual event at AC. The school brings in a live swing band and everyone wears black and white! This year, it was even more special, as it was to welcome our new principal!

On the Tuesday before Ash Wednesday, the British celebrate with their own version of Fat Tuesday. It’s called Pancake Day, and whole country eats pancakes for dinner. Eating pancakes is never a bad way to spend a day!]

In addition to having so much fun, the weather has been a nice part of February! While it is still rainy and grim most days, there are days where it is sunny and amazing! There are so many flowers growing, and it is absolutely beautiful!

I’ll keep it short and sweet, as I have to go pack my bags now! On Saturday, I leave on a school trip to Spain! It’s called project week, and it’s a week of the school year devoted to doing projects based around student’s interests. My project group will be walking 100 km (62 miles) of a pilgrimage in Spain. The pilgrimage is known as the Camino de Santiago, and it is honor of St. James, who was buried in the city of Santiago after he was martyred. It should be a really exciting and challenging experience! After I finish the pilgrimage, I will leave Spain and head to the Netherlands for a conference at our sister school UWC Maastricht. It should be an exciting week, and I can’t wait to tell you all about it!

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A weekend trip to a rock climbing center!

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A pancake flipping contest at Church Lunch to celebrate Pancake Day.

 

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Enjoying the sun with friends.

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Exploring the woods behind the school on a sunny day

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Baking cookies is always a great way to spend a Saturday!

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All of the Sunley girls enjoying dinner together.

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The Castle on a sunny day,

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Fun times at a bonfire.

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A picture from the ice skating trip.

 

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Black and White Ball.
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As February Flies By…

Hey Everyone! The last few weeks have been busy, but amazing! My role as student life coordinator has kicked in full force, and I’ve gotten to help plan some really fun activities!

Two weeks ago, the school had a TEDx Conference. TED is an international organization focused on sharing “ideas worth spreading”. They organize conferences of everyday people sharing inspirational messages. It was such a wonderful event, and I was so excited when applied and was chosen to plan the conference for next year!

That Sunday, I attended my first church lunch. Church lunch is an amazing event that is put on by a couple named Bob and Shelia in the Llantwit Major community. It is a non-religious tradition that happens once a month when Bob and Shelia host lunch for any and all AC students at their house. The name stems from the fact that they pick students up on their way home from church on Sunday morning. Over twenty students hang out in their living room, talk, and relax.  The food was amazing, the company was great, and they were some of the kindest and most welcoming people that I have ever met. Overall, it has been one of my favorite experiences of 2nd term so far, and I can’t wait for next month’s.

For Chinese New Year in the end of January, the school celebrated with a Chinese Dumpling making workshop, which was fun, interesting, and delicious!

On Monday the 30th , over 200 students from AC decided to participate in a protest against Donald Trump’s ban on refugees coming to the United States. It was such an inspirational event, and it was so cool to unify with the whole school against an issue that we find to be unjust.

Keeping on the theme of politics and justice, that Thursday and Friday, we had the school Peace Conference. Instead of going to codes, we spent the days listening to speakers, participating in Model United Nations (MUN), and going to workshops. For MUN, I represented the country of China and was placed in the Human Rights Commission. With my fellow American Matthew, I ran a workshop on American Politics. Over all, it was a really fun and interesting Peace Conference.

On Sunday, some students wrapped up the week with a late night live-streaming of the Superbowl. In the end, it was worth it to stay up till 3am to see one of the most interesting games ever in the history of American football. Not to mention, it was a great end to a great 2 weeks! Thanks for reading! Keep posted for more!

Back for Another Term!

Hey everyone! First, I want to put out a really big apology out that I have taken such a break from posting on my blog! Time goes so fast at AC that months often times feel like days!  However, I figured that a new year could come with new goals, one of which will be to update my blog more frequently!

Since it’s been so long, I’ll try to give you a quick overview of what I’ve been up to for the last three months!

In the end of October, we had a week long October break.  Considering the United States is a very long way away, I decided to take advantage of being in Europe to do some travelling. With my friends Matthew from California and Lucy from England, I took a four day trip to Barcelona. Barcelona was such an amazing city. We enjoyed warm weather, delicious food, and beautiful sights. My favorite part of the trip was visiting La Sagrada Familia, an absolutely  beautiful cathedral.  We also explored some of Barcelona’s  markets, and we visited the Museum of Modern Art. After returning from Barcelona, I spent the last three days of October break in London with Keely, a friend of  mine from Boscobel who was spending a few months exploring the UK and Europe. It was so nice to see her, and we enjoyed seeing sights such as the Big Ben, the Tower of London, Westminster Cathedral, Buckingham Palace, and the London Bridge. It was so nice to catch up and to see the beautiful city.

When I returned to school on the first of November, the busyness of AC began again. On the 5th of November, we celebrated a British Holiday known as bonfire day. This holiday celebrates the execution Guy Fawkes, a conspirator against the British monarchy. It’s a strange reason for a holiday, but it’s fun nonetheless. The day is celebrated with fireworks, bonfires, and a cookout. On the 11th of November, I had the chance to go with some friends to a 21 Pilots Concert in London. It was an absolutely amazing experience! The next day, I returned to school for my first school ball. Known as the percentage ball, it’s a ball that celebrates the diversity and the LGBTQ community at my school. Everyone asks a friend of the same gender to attend the ball, and it’s a really fun night of dressing up and dancing. Even though I was tired from all the dancing the night before, I had to get up the next day to prepare for the North American National Evening! At AC, every regional group has a day where they put on a performance the displays their culture in a fun and funny way. The North American group at AC consists of Americans, Canadians, and Bermudians, and we put together a really funny program full of skits, videos, and jokes. The next weekend, Keely came from England to visit me in Wales! She visited AC  and explored Cardiff. On Saturday, we had the opportunity to go to a rugby game of the national team of Wales versus Japan. It was a super interesting event and such a nice weekend. On the 24th and 25th of November, our school had a conference known as the critical engagement conference. Speakers were brought into the school ,and we spent the time talking about world issues and thinking critically about our role in the world. It was a really cool and engaging event. That Friday, I celebrated Thanksgiving with the other Americans and Canadians at my school. I thought it  would be sad day because I was away from my family, but it was actually such a nice day with so many amazing friends. We prepared and ate a full Thanksgiving meal, and it was so fun and delicious. That weekend, the school sponsored a trip to Bath, England for the day. Bath is famous for its Christmas markets, and it was so nice to explore the city and to do some shopping.

 

In December, I started an activity with my friend Maddi called the international cooking club. The members of the club each take a turn teaching the students in the activity how to cook a dish from their country. So far, we have learned how to make Mongolian dumplings, Israeli desserts and baked eggs, Nigerian seasoned rice,  and British and American Christmas treats. On the 3rd of December, I hosted an event at the school called Winter Wonderland. It was an event that included Christmas cookie decorating, hot chocolate, and Christmas movies. It was such a nice event that gave everyone a chance to relax and to get into the Christmas spirit.  The next day, the school hosted an really cool Christmas craft fair where I had the chance to purchase some beautiful handmade Christmas gifts. The last week before Christmas break was filled with final exams and getting ready to go home. I had the chance to go to my link family’s house for a wonderful Christmas dinner, and I enjoyed going out for dinner with friends a few times. On Saturday the 10th of December, we had a Christmas ball. We drew our dates out of a hat and had a fancy dinner with our whole house. Everyone exchanged Secret Santa presents, and the second and first years performed and gave out awards. After that, we had a dance in the castle. It was such a nice evening! The next day, there were elections for the Student Life Committee Chair. The Student Life Committee is a committee that plans almost all events and social activities for the students at Atlantic College. I decided to run, and I won!! I’m now in charge of coordinating all student activities. It’s a big task, but I love doing it!

Before I knew it, my first term was over, and I was ready to head home for a much needed and anticipated visit. I look back, and I can’t believe that my first term was less than five months long. Never in my life have I had the opportunity to do so many things in that small of time period. I had such an amazing first term, but it was so nice to see my family and friends again. I loved spending Christmas at home and sharing a little bit of my new life in Wales with the people that I love at home.

However, now that I’m back at AC, I’m excited to conquer 2nd term, and I’m so excited to see where this adventure continues to take me. Thank you so much for reading!  Stay tuned for more updates!

 

 

 

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My friend Yuval and I at the Percentage Ball.

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The Welsh rugby game.

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Thanksgiving with the North Americans.

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Christmas cookie decorating.

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The Christmas Ball.

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The Christmas dinner in our house dayroom.

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My link parents with their link students, Noe and I.

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La Sagrada Family in Barcelona with Matthew and Lucy.

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Exploring the city of Bath with friends.

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The river Thames and London Eye with Keely.

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Feeding the birds of Hyde Park.

 

 

 

 

 

October Update

October brought along some other wonderful opportunities in addition to the UWC Day Festival. I still stayed busy with all of my activities, classes, and community service.

On the weekends, I started to do some baking and cooking with one of my amazing friends, Maddi. So far, we have made cakes, cookies, and candies. It has been such a nice opportunity to unwind and relax with one of my favorite pastimes. Cooking at AC can be hard because 48 students share a small kitchen with a small stovetop and no oven. Thankfully, some of the wonderful resident assistants on campus have opened their house (and their oven) to us to use! The results have been fabulously destressing and delicious!

I also got the chance to visit my link family again in October. My link mom made me the most delicious dinner ever, and afterwards, we made a Christmas cake together. A Christmas cake is a traditional British fruitcake that is prepared months before Christmas and is preserved with brandy until the holiday arrives. My link family is so nice, and it is so comforting to go to a regular house and eat a home cooked meal.

Even though AC is a few thousand miles from the United States, American politics are still a pretty big deal at AC. It amazes me how informed and interested people from so many different countries about American politics. In particular, many students are very interested in the (quickly) upcoming presidential election. Because of this, many students were interested in watching the final presidential debate on October 19th. I helped to plan this event, and it was really quite interesting. Because of the time difference, we had to wake up at 2 am to watch the event live. Thirty students woke up in the middle of the night and crowded into the student coffee lounge to watch one of the most interesting and scary presidential debates ever. In addition to being amused and confused by the candidate’s questionable comments, we enjoyed some traditional American food including pigs in a blanket, chips and salsa, pizza, brownies, pumpkin bars, and no-bake cookies. Overall, it was a great but slightly unnerving experience. Being at a school with so much diversity and so many different points of view really has opened my eyes even wider to just how large of role that this election will play in the world, and it really scares and saddens me to see my country split into these two troubling and contrasting sides.

As October progressed, the temperature went into a bit of a downward spiral. Temperatures have been about 45 degrees Fahrenheit. While this is quite similar to the temperatures at home, the very nearby ocean means that there is always a wet, chilly breeze that accompanies these fall temperatures. However, not all of the weather is bad. The leaves have begun to fall, and the bright orange leaves and beautiful coastline result in an absolutely breathtaking view.

As October approached the last week, the half term mark also approached. I find it crazy to think that I am already one fourth of the way done with my first year at AC. The time has flown by so fast, and I’m scared to think about how fast the next two years will fly! Half term also meant the releasing of our first predicted grades for the IB diploma. After a slightly stressful week of tests and written work, I was pleasantly surprised to receive my grades. Thankfully, the stress of grades and homework was counteracted by the knowledge of the upcoming half term break. Unlike the US system, students in the UK get a weeklong break in October in addition to  the breaks at Christmas and Easter time. I was overly excited to have this time to explore, and being that I am in Europe, where it is much easier to travel, I took the opportunity to schedule small trips to Barcelona and London.

Anyway… Thanks for reading about October! Stay posted and I’ll have an update about my October break travels soon! Thanks!

 

October Update

October brought along some other wonderful opportunities in addition to the UWC Day Festival. I still stayed busy with all of my activities, classes, and community service.

On the weekends, I started to do some baking and cooking with one of my amazing friends, Maddi. So far, we have made cakes, cookies, and candies. It has been such a nice opportunity to unwind and relax with one of my favorite pastimes. Cooking at AC can be hard because 48 students share a small kitchen with a small stovetop and no oven. Thankfully, some of the wonderful resident assistants on campus have opened their house (and their oven) to us to use! The results have been fabulously destressing and delicious!

I also got the chance to visit my link family again in October. My link mom made me the most delicious dinner ever, and afterwards, we made a Christmas cake together. A Christmas cake is a traditional British fruitcake that is prepared months before Christmas and is preserved with brandy until the holiday arrives. My link family is so nice, and it is so comforting to go to a regular house and eat a home cooked meal.

Even though AC is a few thousand miles from the United States, American politics are still a pretty big deal at AC. It amazes me how informed and interested people from so many different countries about American politics. In particular, many students are very interested in the (quickly) upcoming presidential election. Because of this, many students were interested in watching the final presidential debate on October 19th. I helped to plan this event, and it was really quite interesting. Because of the time difference, we had to wake up at 2 am to watch the event live. Thirty students woke up in the middle of the night and crowded into the student coffee lounge to watch one of the most interesting and scary presidential debates ever. In addition to being amused and confused by the candidate’s questionable comments, we enjoyed some traditional American food including pigs in a blanket, chips and salsa, pizza, brownies, pumpkin bars, and no-bake cookies. Overall, it was a great but slightly unnerving experience. Being at a school with so much diversity and so many different points of view really has opened my eyes even wider to just how large of role that this election will play in the world, and it really scares and saddens me to see my country split into these two troubling and contrasting sides.

As October progressed, the temperature went into a bit of a downward spiral. Temperatures have been about 45 degrees Fahrenheit. While this is quite similar to the temperatures at home, the very nearby ocean means that there is always a wet, chilly breeze that accompanies these fall temperatures. However, not all of the weather is bad. The leaves have begun to fall, and the bright orange leaves and beautiful coastline result in an absolutely breathtaking view.

As October approached the last week, the half term mark also approached. I find it crazy to think that I am already one fourth of the way done with my first year at AC. The time has flown by so fast, and I’m scared to think about how fast the next two years will fly! Half term also meant the releasing of our first predicted grades for the IB diploma. After a slightly stressful week of tests and written work, I was pleasantly surprised to receive my grades. Thankfully, the stress of grades and homework was counteracted by the knowledge of the upcoming half term break. Unlike the US system, students in the UK get a weeklong break in October in addition to  the breaks at Christmas and Easter time. I was overly excited to have this time to explore, and being that I am in Europe, where it is much easier to travel, I took the opportunity to schedule small trips to Barcelona and London.

Anyway… Thanks for reading about October! Stay posted and I’ll have an update about my October break travels soon! Thanks!

 

UWC Festival

Once again.. I’m so sorry that it has taken me so long to update my blog! It’s just a sign of how busy life is at AC! On October 9th, there was a really cool event at my school known as UWC Festival. UWC Festival is a day to celebrate the diversity in the UWC system and at Atlantic College specifically. At AC alone, there are students from over ninety different countries. I had the opportunity to be on the planning committee for the event.  The event consisted of different workshops and performances that highlighted the different cultures at AC. Some of the workshops and performances included henna, Ukrainian dancing, Bollywood dancing, and origami. The highlight of the day included a food festival. Each house was responsible for preparing food from a different area of the world. My house was responsible for preparing food from Eastern Europe.  I helped to plan a seven dish menu from Russia and Ukraine, and on the 8th, many students in Sunley stayed up into the wee hours of the morning cooking and preparing a variety of amazing Eastern European dishes. On the day of the event, everyone dresses up in their country’s national costume. I had to get a little bit create because the US doesn’t really have a national costume. I ended up wearing a Wisconsin t-shirt and coordinating US colors. The performances, food, and workshops were great. Everyone had an absolutely wonderful time dancing enjoying the rare Welsh sun. Overall, UWC Festival was a remarkable day that reminded me of the UWC values and of why I am embarking on this amazing adventure.

  • Small, lower picture: the Eastern European food prepared by Sunley
  • Upper left-hand corner: enjoying the music and sun with friends from the UK, Bosnia, Turkey, and Austria
  • Upper right hand photo: cooking (and tasting) the night before
  • Bottom Photo: Enjoying the food festival with friends from China, Nigeria, and Spain.

 

Open House

On September 30th, I had the opportunity to host open house. Open house is an event that happens every Friday in each of the houses. Students take turns planning and cooking food from their home countries on Friday evening.  That evening, the house parents open their house for all of the students in the house to come over to enjoy food and to relax. People always play Just Dance on the Wii, and it is such a nice opportunity to relax and talk with everyone after a full week of school.

I was so excited to plan and prepare my open house because I love cooking and planning meals. I decided to make quite a few different American dishes. I decided to make Sloppy Joes, taco dip, my mom’s famous peanut butter bars, and monkey bread. A few of my amazing friends came and helped me to cook, and it was such a nice time cooking, talking, and jamming out to music  In the end, we had some extra ingredients, so we ended up throwing together some chocolate chip cookies and pb&j sandwiches.. The open house went really well, and everyone enjoyed a taste of some new American foods. It was such a nice reminder of home and such a fun time to cook and enjoy the company of great friends!

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My friends Mojo, Terri, Rena, Maddi, and I showing of some of the food before it was all devoured!

A Sweet Goodbye to September

Woah! I’m so sorry that it’s been almost a whole month since I least posted on my blog! I guess it’s just a sign of how fast life moves at AC!  Because it’s been so long since I’ve last shared my adventures, and because there is so much to share, I’m going to share the last month in a weeklong series of posts.  First, I’ll share with you what happened in September!

On September 15th, I had the awesome opportunity to meet the Archbishop of Cardiff, as he came to visit the college. It’s so nice for me to be able to remain involved with the church, and it is such a nice reminder of home. That Saturday, I had the opportunity to participate in a castle sleepover. Instead of staying in my house and sleeping in my dorm, a bunch of students were allowed to go to the castle after check in for a sleepover in the library. It was such a cool experience because the castle is so old and beautiful. We watched Harry Potter and talked into the wee hours of the morning. It was probably the closest that I’ll ever get to feeling like I live at Hogwarts.

In September, I also started to participate in some more fun activities. On campus, we have a small student-run snack shop and study place. I started volunteering there once a week. It’s such a nice way to talk with a variety of people and to have some extra time to study. I’ve also started taking Zumba classes once or twice a week. It’s such a fun way to exercise, and it’s a great way to get to know even more students on campus.

During the last week of September, we had something really special known as diploma period. Diploma periods are really unique to Atlantic College. They are periods of time where students do not have normal classes. Instead, they engage in critical thought and learning about specific subjects outside of their normal curriculum. On this week, the first year students participated in the Social Justice Conference and the Wellbeing Conference.  During this week, all students had to dress formally (fun fact: In the UK, they refer to dressing in business attire as dressing “smart”).  The school brought in many different presenters and workshops that focused on issues of social justice and equality. It was such an informative conference, and it really encouraged all students to challenge themselves to think critically about social justice in our world today.

The capstone of the Social Justice Conference is the first year presentations. First year students are expected to work with the other members of their house to choose a social justice issue and to create a presentation that helped to educate the audience and spread awareness of the issue. It was challenging because all first year students in the house had to be involved in the presentation, and the presentation had to be interactive and engaging. After much discussion and contemplation, my house decided to do our presentation on child labor and slavery in Nigeria and India. Together we spent many hours preparing different statistics, skits, and monologues to convey our message. My friend Maddi even wrote and performed a beautiful song to go with our performance. Overall, the performance went so well. While the process of working together to create a performance was a positive experience on its own, the best reward of the process was the competition. Each house’s presentation was judged on its material and its presentation style, and the winning house received both bragging rights and cake for the whole house. Guess what? My house, Sunley, won! The cake and the joy of winning really made the week memorable.

After the three day long Social Justice conference, we had a two day long Wellbeing conference. This conference was led by the pastoral staff and all of the house parents of the houses. We had really nice and relaxing workshops on things like mindfulness and wellbeing. It was such a relaxing period after the busy Social Justice Conference. It also really helped to address some important issues such as stress and homesickness. While AC is such a wonderful place, it can also be very stressful due to the academic rigor of the International Baccalaureate academic system and the stress of living at a boarding school. While I’ve definitely had many moments of amazing happiness and excitement, I, like most other students, also have moments of homesickness and frustration. It’s difficult to live with other students all the time, to be away from home, and to essentially lose the differentiation between home and school. The wellbeing conference really helped us to find positive ways to deal with these stresses.

With the end of diploma period came the end of September. Just like that, my first full calendar month at AC was over, and the excitement of October came around the corner. Stay posted this week, as I will be running a five day blog series that talks about the excitement after September! Thanks for reading!

The AC Life has Begun

So it’s been about 12 days since I last shared a post with you all, and I’m happy to share that I am still doing great. Classes and activities have started, and all the students at Atlantic College have started to get into a sort of routine. Even though typical school days might sound fairly boring, I find that AC still carries excitement with it, even once school has begun. Once again, I’ve had a whirlwind two weeks. Unlike my traditional high school in the US where I attended seven hours of classes a day, at AC, I only attend three to four hours of classes on an average day. For instance, today I had math, history, and biology class, and I was done with classes by 12:30pm.

While it may seem like I’m spending not a enough time learning everyday, one of the great things about AC is the amount of learning that occurs outside of the classroom. Every student is required to do an in-depth area of service over their two years, and they are required to participate in two different activity cycles every seven weeks. In addition, there are numerous clubs, organizations, and daily activities that students can participate in. This afternoon alone, I ‘ll be attending a meeting about the debate team, a student activity council meeting, a student council meeting, and a film club viewing session. Tomorrow, I’ll start an after-class training on peace and sustainability, practice with the Model United Nations Team, and help lead cultural education training for middle school students at the local public school. As a person who loves to stay busy, I enjoy knowing that there is always something fun and interesting to do.

Outside of classes and activities, there are a lot of other fun weekend activities planned. Every Friday, all of the house parents on campus hold an event called open house. Students take turns cooking their traditional food for the whole house, and everyone in the house is welcome to the house parents’ home for food and socializing. In a few weeks, it’s my turn to make some traditional American fare, but I still haven’t decided exactly what I would like to make yet. After open house every Friday (and every Saturday night), there’s  event known as SOSH. SOSH is like a mini school dance, and its always a really fun. After SOSH., we’re required to return to our houses for check-in, but everyone in the house usually stays up into the early morning hours talking, dancing, or watching movies.

Last Saturday, my friend Rena and I decided to sign up to go on a school organized trip to the national museum of Welsh culture, St. Fagan’s. It was a really cool museum that was set up like a historical village. It was interesting to learn about the history of Wales and to see what traditional Welsh life looked life. As an even added bonus, there was a massive food festival going on at the museum while we were there. It was delicious and relaxing to sample all sorts of both traditional Welsh food and exciting “food-truck” style alternative food and to listen to the live music.

On Sunday, I woke up and was able to attend church. It was such a nice reminded of home. There is a local family in the community who picks up any students from Atlantic College who would like to attend mass every weekend, and the whole parish community was so welcoming to the students that attended.

After mass, I had a meeting to meet my link family. A link family is a family in one of the neighboring communities that volunteers to open their home to a student at Atlantic College. It’s a nice way to learn more about the life of a British family, and its really nice to have a place to visit occasionally outside of campus for a home cooked meal or just to experience a family atmosphere again. I was so lucky, and I was paired with an amazing link family. My link family is a couple named Elaine and Anthony. They share similar interests to me, as they also love cooking, traveling, and photography. On Sunday, they invited me over to their home, and it was the most wonderful afternoon.

On Sunday evening, we ended the weekend with the British national evening. On Sunday nights, students from a specific region of the world take turns putting on a funny show that presents their culture to other students. The North American night I coming up in only about a month, so I’ll have to start working on that soon.

Anyway, I have to go to my debate club meeting right now, but thank you so much for reading about my adventures. I can’t wait to share with you more of my future stories. Also, stay tuned, as I am looking at starting a series of blog posts discussing British culture (including the extremely varies ways that English can be spoken), traditional Welsh recipes, and more pictures. Thanks!

 

A Fabulous First Week

 

WOW! I don’t even know where to start! I’ve been at Atlantic College for about a week and a half now, and it has been some of the most amazing 12 days of my life. Upon arrival London, I quickly met an amazing group of my co-years in the airport. After about a four hour bus ride, we finally reached St. Donat’s, Wales, the location of Atlantic College and my home for the next two years. Immediately upon exiting the bus, we were greeted by dozens of cheering, wildly-dressed second years. I was welcomed by the second years in my house. Atlantic College has seven houses where students live, a castle where we eat and learn, multiple outdoor locations to hang out, and an aquatic center and gym to work out in. I was fortunate enough to be placed in the amazing house of Sunley. I have three amazing roommates from the UK, India, and Nigeria, 47 house mates from all over the world, wonderful house parents, and an adorable dog named Rubi. After spending a day settling in, we students started our induction program. During induction, we learned about the different class options, the activities available at school, and all sorts of other helpful information. I quickly started to meet amazing people and make amazing friends. The program that I’ll be taking is known as the International Baccalaureate degree. In this degree, I’ll take three higher level and three standard level, two-year courses. After much contemplation, I choose to take higher level English Language and Literature, higher level anthropology, higher level Middle Eastern and African History, standard level math, standard level biology, and standard level Spanish. As part of induction week, we also learned about the schools different faculties. Atlantic College has four different faculties that students choose to study: global, social justice, environmental, and outdoors. Throughout the two year course, students choose to spend time doing service in one of these specific areas. I choose to do the global program in which I will have the opportunity to teach cultural education programming to local school children, plan international conferences, create global focus weeks at the school, and volunteer with refugees in Cardiff. I’m so excited to be able to spend my time in this faculty, for I am so interested in all of these activities and in the field of global education. Outside of induction, I spent my evenings hanging out at the seaside, meeting with friends over campfires, and hanging out with all of my house-mates. After five days of induction, all of the first year students in my house left for camp. Camp is an iconic Atlantic College activity where first years bond over a three day camping trip in western Wales. During the camping trip, we went hiking, kayaking, surfing, and coasteering (an activity that is a mix of swimming and climbing around the coast). Overall, camp was an amazing and fun bonding experience with my co-years. We were even fortunate that we avoided the typical rainy Welsh weather and had three beautiful days of sun. After returning from camp on Tuesday night, I was overjoyed but exhausted. Luckily, on Wednesday, we had our first full free day. I hastily tried to do a load of laundry in the severely overcrowded laundry room before I headed of for a short train trip to the Welsh capital of Cardiff for some food and shopping with friends. It was such a wonderful day in such a wonderful city. That evening, I explored the local town of Llantwit Major in order to buy some groceries and school supplies. It’s about three miles from the college and is such a cute, quaint little town with some stores, restaurants, and a train station. Finally, I spent today meeting with the global faculty and preparing for my classes, which start tomorrow. Thanks so much for reading my blog and I can’t wait to share all of next week’s adventures with you!

 

Views from the beautiful campus.