Megan Sadler: Mind the Gap Between Vancouver and Hatfield
After waiting for what seemed like forever, I have finally arrived in England! It was hard saying goodbye to all my friends and family back home, but I just had to remind myself that there were going to be so many new friends to get to know and people to meet once I start this experience. The University of Hertfordshire is a lot different from Capilano U so far. For starters, it is significantly bigger! It is divided up into two campuses: College Lane and de Havilland. All of my classes are on de Hav, but I live on College Lane. I kind of like the way that ended up working out, because all of the social stuff like the campus club and pub are near where I live, and my classes are only a 10 minute bus ride via the free shuttle or a 20 minute walk away.
I think my biggest form of culture shock thus far was the trip to the grocery store on campus, called ASDA. I first had to get used to seeing the pound sign in front of prices instead of the dollar sign. In the beginning it felt like a constant reminder that I was far away from home but now I feel like it would be weird to go back to Canadian dollars. Alcohol is also sold in grocery stores here, which is quite different from back home. There are certain products and brands from Vancouver that they do not sell here, such as the traditional university student staple food of Kraft Dinner. Although I miss some of those things, I’ve been making a point of trying something new every time I do a shopping trip. For the most part, these new discoveries have all been good!
In terms of teaching style, I’ve found the school system to be a lot different from back home. I haven’t had to buy any textbooks at all, because the teachers post all articles online or provide you with an e-book to look up. All of the money that I saved from not having to buy any textbooks went into day trips to London and a trip to Amsterdam at the end of this month! I’m so excited. It is so easy to explore here.
Megan is a third year Bachelor of Tourism Management student studying abroad at the University of Hertfordshire in Hatfield, UK.