It’s Winter break! Which is the longest for Japanese students (the academic year here officially begins in April). Faced with THREE MONTHS of free time, many exchange students are choosing to explore Asia or go home for a while, but with so much still yet to see in Japan (and an awareness that the rest of Japan is inevitably quite different to the huge and glorious Tokyo) I took to traveling within the country instead. Thus began my adventure to the Kansai region. Continue reading
The cold weather has come to Zafra. When I say cold I mean that the temperature is no longer 30 degrees; it’s dropped to about 14, but this change occurred in the space of two days and no one was prepared.
You’d think a polar vortex had hit Spain. In the streets the (woollen) gloves are out, I’ve seen multiple bobble hats and last season’s Zara scarves are making all kinds of appearances. At school the playground is deserted, the students are occupying the corridors and the teachers are despairing. You can just about hear the exclamations of ‘que frio!‘ beneath the layers of snoods and baklavas.
My last post told of the brilliant and unexpected sunshine. This is definitely no longer the case. The temperatures dipped drastically about two weeks ago. Over the course of the last month the average temperature has dropped from hovering around 25 degrees in September, to a regular -5 now we have reached November. There is, however, one tree on campus that refuses to admit the change in weather.
The last month has flown by so quickly I’ve hardly had time to sit down and write my blog! FIlled with assignments, more quizzes, and the dreaded Midterms, it has definitely been the hardest month since arriving here, and right up here with anything I’ve experienced at Durham. The sheer volume of work has been difficult to manage, made much harder by living in such a amazing part of the world, with uncountable distractions wherever you look – It has never been easier to procrastinate! With the continual assessment it has quickly become apparent that staying on top of your work is key – no more cruising through 2 terms preparing yourself for the mad last term like back in Durham. Of the two completely different systems however, I’m still not sure which I prefer. Maybe I will have a better idea when my results start coming back in, but it certainly takes time to adjust between the two. The system here forces you to keep constantly reviewing your work, which actually really helps to remain engaged with the content – for the first time in a long while I actually understand what is going on in lectures….to some degree anyway, which makes a refreshing change.