1 month in already

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Hello everyone,

It’s a beautiful sunny Saturday here in Dunedin. Although the New Zealand winter is in full swing and the weather has been quite temperamental so far, I’ve almost been too hot in my coat as I’ve wandered around town today. Two years of chilly Durham winters has definitely taught me how to layer up. Continue reading

Double Life

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The revelation that Benjamín has a social life that is separate from Villafranca de los Barros didn’t go down too well in class this morning. I probably should have seen it coming, because I was unfairly popular amongst the girls when it was revealed that I didn’t have a girlfriend (or, as my colleagues amongst the English department so helpfully put it, “he’s single, girls, so you’re in luck”). I don’t know how they thought I spent my weekends – probably planning lessons or traveling or what-have-you – but yours truly was most definitely doing neither this time around. Continue reading

¡First week of school done and dusted!

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I know it’s a cliché, but this week has just flown by! After the first day, it was easy to settle into a routine of getting up, walking (the incredibly scenic route, might I add) to school and showing a presentation explaining where I’m from. Needless to say I’m a bit sick of trying to remember what year Durham cathedral was built and listening to the first 30 seconds of Ed Sheeran’s Thinking Out Loud… Continue reading

Blood and Clay

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‘Excuse me, is this the bus to Valladolid?’
‘Good. Does it pass through Villafranca de los Barros?’
‘Villafranca de los Barros? No.’
‘What about Merida?’
‘Merida? Not this bus. You want the next one.’
‘But they told me at the ticket office to get the 14:15 to Valladolid…’
‘The next one.’

‘This is the one you want. Don’t listen to him.’

That’s Spain in a nutshell. Unhelpful people on the job, super helpful people on the sidelines. That’s what you get in a nation where everybody loves to know everybody else’s business over their own. Continue reading

Denmark #1: Intro Week

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I’ve been in Denmark for about a week and a half now, and start lectures tomorrow (!). It’s been a crazy, crazy introduction week which ‘kind of’ resembled Durham Freshers that you definitely know but only maybe love, but with extra canoes. Aarhus isn’t the Venice of Scandinavia, but you can actually canoe through the centre of it and you can wave at the locals like some kind of Lord of the river and they will wave back. It’s amazing.

It's no wonder Danish people are so happy, they get to do this all day

It’s no wonder Danish people are so happy, they get to do this all day

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Germany! First impressions

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I have recently moved to Cologne in the North West of Germany for the second part of my year abroad to take part in the British Council Assistantship scheme. I am based in a little town called Zülpich, working in a Gymnasium (a German grammar school). I only work twelve hours a week there to support English lessons/teach English lessons. I had heard mixed opinions from previous students about undertaking an assistantship placement organised by the British Council and it seems that each person has their own very different personal experience in their own school. For me the British Council has provided an extremely strong professional and personal support system for this placement, and I couldn’t recommend it enough from my experience so far.

cologne cathedral

Cologne Cathedral

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My Frenchitisation

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  • Step One

My sensitisation to all things French actually began this summer when I spent a month living with my good friend Lorène. I was meant to be learning about Indian culture and life, but she probably educated me a lot more. She was constantly direct – no need to worry about crossed wires – and also stylish. This sums up most french people very accurately. Especially in Paris! everyone in Paris is good-looking or, at the very least, they know how to dress. At least I knew what was in store from an early stage. 

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