Thursday, 30 August 2012

Introducing Vicky Vail

21 August 2012

I already have a blog at where you can see this post too :) It's titled "Leaving Home - Taking the Road Less Traveled By" "I shall be telling this with a sigh Somewhere ages and ages hence: two roads diverged in a wood, and I --I took the one less traveled by, And that has made all the difference." ~Robert Frost, The Road not Taken Over the past few days I have been "exploring home" (see previous posts) - but now the time has come to "leave home" and keep walking down my little path called life. Since I’m always travelling and living in different places I’ve often been confused about where I’m from. However, there are some things that I am sure of: -Every time I leave one place it never gets easier to say good-bye -Each new location I discover teaches me new things-I will always be surrounded by amazing people :) -Every place I go to gives me new priceless memories. I will be living in England until the beginning of December and I couldn't even begin to tell you how STOKED I am!!!! Out of all of the countries and places that I didn't see while growing up in Europe it was England. But now, I get to live in a MANOR HOUSE! I am going to see cities that I have always wanted to visit. I will get to explore another culture. And I’ll get to be there for longer than just a vacation! The countdown to when I would arrive has been going on since I first heard about Harlaxton. Now that I am ONLY 3 DAYS away from this new journey I can't believe it. I can't believe that I am going to live out of a suitcase for 3 months. I can't believe that I am going to be a part of an English family which will allow me to be more immersed in the culture. I can't believe that I, an English student, will get to study Jane Austen and Shakespeare in England, of all places! However, it doesn't come without sacrifices. I will miss my friends who aren’t with me. I will have to adjust to another culture. And most of all, I will have to sacrifice money. I know that this experience will be worth every cent. I definitely expect to learn how to budget much better over the next few months. I know I can't do everything and I can't go everywhere but I’ll just have to get involved at Harlaxton instead. :) Exactly 3 days from now my flight will have just taken off from Frankfurt, Germany, to London, England. There is one more thing that I have to add to my list of what I am sure of: that I am going to have a very unique experience over there, which will change me. I have chosen to make these sacrifices, to try something different and new, and it is going to make "all the difference."

Introducing Sarah Beach

17 August 2012

In 6 days, 7 hours, 7 minutes, and 54 seconds I will experience the biggest day of my life. I have wanted to go to England ever since I can remember. I have had my bags packed for a week. All there is to do now is wait! I am a Communication Major at Western Kentucky University. My course list for this fall includes Shakespeare, Jane Austen, and Choir, along with the required British Studies course. Packing four months into one 30” by 20” by 10” suitcase and one backpack is tricky, let me tell ya! I found some good tips on the internet and ended up rolling everything into tight bundles and securing them with rubber bands. I was able to fit it all in with no trouble. I’ve packed and re-packed three times now. And still...I’m waiting for life to begin! I expect that England may no longer be the mystical land of chivalry and magic that it is in my brain...but then, they will still have plenty of roads built by the Romans (the actual Romans, can you believe it!) and I think I will still be thoroughly impressed. In fact, I may just die with excitement upon landing. Hopefully there will be plenty of other Anglophiles there, who will not mind my shameless enthusiasm. As it is, I can barely sleep at night, because I lie awake and think about how excited I am. Only 6 days, 7 hours, 6 minutes, and 54 seconds to go...53...52...51...

Introducing Rebecca Moore

23 August 2012

Before my departure to Harlaxton, I felt every possible emotion. Twice. While I had been to the UK, I never had to pack to go for such a long time. I didn't know if I could do it. How was I ever going to fit all the essentials into ONE suitcase? Needless to say, I had numerous freak outs during the packing process. Because of my concerns about packing, I finished early. However, that gave me time to freak out about everything else. What if I lose the group during the journey to school? What if I lose my luggage? What if I have the only seat away from the group on the plane? These were just the worries over the journey TO school. I also worried about my roommate and new classmates, the traveling once I got to school, and keeping in touch with my friends. I had been taken over by the biggest bubble of nerves and excitement. On one hand, I knew everything that could go wrong, but I still found myself tremendously excited. The excitement slowly started to take over the nerves. By the day before my flights, I had done everything I could to be prepared and had transferred all my nervous energy into excitement. I couldn't wait to meet everyone and start my traveling. Even though I knew there would be some bumps along the way, I couldn't wait to start my journey to becoming a Harlaxton student.

Introducing Gloria Atanmo

20 August 2012

I step through the castle doors, a knight in shining armor welcomes me into the hall where thousands are gathered, rising to their feet and applauding with an uproar so loud, the nearby countries know that I’ve arrived. My room is every bit aesthetic, draped with white linen and wooden furniture to accompany the smell of rich mahogany. And then I wake up -- only to find myself on the ground of my room, lying on top of clothes that I use as floor decoration when I lack the motivation to fold them. And obviously I’m slightly off on a few details (like the horse I forgot to mention I’ll be riding in on). But hey, a girl can dream! As I’m just two overweight suitcases and a flight away, packing has been my Achilles-heel. It’s like we’re only allowed to possess two out of the following three traits: 1) Smart 2) Funny 3) Efficient Packer…and clearly I got stuck with the first two. Sheeesh ;). Anywho, because I want to remember every last detail about this semester, my camera will be at my hip 99% of the time. I would love to share a picture each day through my social media sites to keep people up to date on my ventures and also hating my guts because of all the fun I’ll be having! So here’s to the next four months filled with laughs, new adventures, amazing people, and lasting memories. Cheers!

Introducing Andrew Meyer

22 August 2012

In my pre-Harlaxton mix up of giddy excitement (I’m going to have an adopted British host family!) and looming anxiety (My 12 hour flight might be filled with a middle seat, flatulent travellers and crying babies!), a good friend and past Harlaxton student passed down advice that was given to her before she her trip, that is: “Do things that scare you a little.” While this is advice that has lead her up winding staircases and caused her to get trapped inside a foreign Scientology Center, she stands by it. With this in mind, my blog posts will reflect my experiences as I balance studies and travel (independently planned trips to cities like Stockholm and Munich). Meanwhile, I’ll try my best to answer common questions like: will the refectory force me to gain a heightened sense of culinary creativity? Will I get stir-crazy inside the manor or sick of traveling outside of it? How can I avoid being spotted as an American tourist? What if I think a beach is a nude beach, when it really isn’t? And, of course: do they have quidditch there? While I don’t plan on becoming as agreeable as Jim Carrey’s character in the film Yes Man (who seriously said yes to everything) I do plan on staying positive, open to new ideas, and willing to embrace scary opportunities (doing so did lead Carrey’s character to end up with Zooey Deschanel’s, after all). Whatever this semester has in store for me, I’m ready for it.

Introducing Kaitlin Emmert

23 August 2012

It’s hard to sit still. I should not have added caffeine to the adrenaline that’s been coursing through my body. Tomorrow, the word that has been sending shots of excitement through me all summer is finally going to be a reality: Harlaxton! My whole summer has been consumed with preparations, and I have been carefully crafting a packing list. One day before my plane leaves, I am proud to say that few items remain without a checkmark. Packing: what an adventure in itself. I completely took over our living room. I’m strategically placing and taking out items in my suitcase to meet the unfortunate space and weight limitations. To the items left in my closet: no worries; my sister will wear you. Fit my life into one 50-pound suitcase and a carry-on? Challenge accepted. I rolled and squooshed my way to victory. When at Harlaxton, I’m going to make like a sponge and soak up every minute. I can’t express my excitement for all of the NEW things I will experience! New countries, culture, people, traditions, knowledge—somebody pinch me! Oh yeah, and I’ve never flown before. Yet another adventure! I feel like a little kid on Christmas Eve. I leave in less than 24 hours! Yes, I’ll miss my amazing family and friends, and there are the concerns that my travel experience is next to none and that temperatures in the 60s are considered warm. But excitement has largely pushed out my worry. My journey will be captured in my journal and through thousands (I’m not exaggerating) of pictures. I’m going to savor every moment. Signing out from the USA—cheerio!

Introducing Aaron Reynolds

23 August 2012

Hi there! I'm Aaron Reynolds, a sophomore at the University of Evansville studying at Harlaxton College this fall. I'm really excited about this semester, though my excitement carries with it some nerves. I fully expect this experience to be one of the best of my life. I can't wait to make new friends at Harlaxton as we study together, all the while looking forward to our next weekend getaway. Packing a semester's worth of things into a single suitcase was quite the challenge, but thanks to vacuum bags there's plenty of space left to bring home souvenirs. The thing that concerns me the most about my experience is the travel. When I board my flight for England it will be my first ever flight. Yeah, a first time traveler taking a solo trip to another country. Sounds great right? Well, I won't be alone. I'll have the company of scores of fellow students who are just as eager to join the ranks of the Harlaxton Lions as I am. The opportunity to travel at Harlaxton is the most exciting thing about this trip for me. I can't wait to explore everything from the beauty of Ireland to the history of Cambridge. The trip I look forward to the most though is one through some of the German speaking countries where I can take in a wonderful culture and see how much of the language I remember from high school. I hope you enjoy hitching a ride on my European adventure!

Introducing Courtney Leer

23 August 2012

One More Week…. Yes, one short week until our adventure begins! This is the only thought running through my mind as I lay here in bed, looking at my way too stuffed suitcase filled with clothing know I will have to change my mind on taking later. I can’t believe that in one short week I will be leaving my home in Indiana, driving to Chicago, and boarding a plane for England. I feel like I’m in a dream that is too good to be true. But it’s not a dream, and it’s not too good to be true… It’s happening. I will finally be living the life of a study abroad student. I cannot believe that we will all be living and studying in this beautiful manor... And also traveling around Europe! Could it get any better? No way. What is more exciting than looking forward to all the AMAZING places you get to visit while studying abroad?! Imagine all of the shopping, visiting museums, and drinking you will get to do in Ireland, Scotland, Paris, Italy, London, York, Oxford, etc. Life just doesn’t get much better than that. As I was looking online for traveling tips, I ran across a blog entry from MTV’s “The Buried Life.” One of the boys wrote this bit as he traveled back from Europe, and I feel like it’s perfect for this trip: “The best part about my travels was the mentality I had while on the road. Every obstacle was seen as an adventure, every person met had the potential to be my best friend, every opportunity was taken, every answer was yes. Magic happens when you’re spontaneous. It made for the best month of my life and reminded me of how to live back home. Traveling reminds you how big the world is and how small your problems are. It also has a funny way of reminding you how short life is.”So, as I sit here and continue to stress about all the events coming up in the next short week, I want to remember that the next four months will probably be some of the most exciting, exhilarating, tiring, and memorable months of my life. Looking forward to looking back on these months definitely makes all the planning, packing, and paperwork worth it.

Introducing your Fall 2012 Harlaxton Bloggers!

Over the next four months, you will get a first hand account of life at Harlaxton from five student bloggers. They will talk about what it is like to live and study at Harlaxton, share their experiences travelling, and much more! 

Introductory posts are to come later today!

The Harlaxton Student Bloggers for Fall 2012 are:

Aaron Reynolds

Kaitlin Emmert

Rebecca Moore
Courtney Leer
Sarah Beach
Gloria Atanmo

Andrew Meyer
Vicky Vail