Dinefwr

When I first set up this blog, I was still in Victoria and I had all these ideas about writing in it, thinking I would have the time, the inclination, and the content. I kind of do, but everytime I think I should write a post, I remember that I have a 2500 word essay due in a couple weeks, and so much reading to do. So, I go to Facebook instead, because I have become one of those people who use only Facebook to keep in contact! Before I joined I did not really like it, but really, it is a pretty good way to stay in contact, and upload hundreds of pictures at once. So apologies that I have not posted as much as I originally intended!

But to explain the title of this post, Dinefwr. It is Welsh, and pronounced Dinehver, and it’s a castle about an hour away from here, and so gorgeous! Right next to a town called Llandeilo. The castle part is from the Normans, and then there is a house that construction was originally began in the 16th century. Really lovely place, and I went as part of the International Cultural Programme. Unfortunately I did not take that many pictures, but I am going again next term, so hopefully then.

Another thing that happened was my birthday! I turned 19, and had a little party to celebrate. It was really great, I got a few really nice presents and cards, and it was just fun to hang around with new foreign people! Lol that sounds a bit weird, but it was a really awesome birthday evening. The kitchen was decorated by my hallmates, and then a few people came over, then went to a bar, which I was already legal to go to here, but now in British Columbia I can go to bars too!

Classes are another thing that is going on, I have lectures 3 times a week, each 3 hours long. So it’s good and it’s bad that they’re so long. Something else that’s really weird is that I live so close to the classrooms. At home to get to Langford to Camosun it took me over an hour, here I can leave my room 5 minutes before class begins and still make it with plenty of time to spare. And there is less work, kind of. Each class I only have 2 essays to write, but in all it’s going to be 15,000 words. But no exams or marks for attendance or seminars, so that’s a bit different. It just means that the essays count for so much more!

Oh, violin issue has pretty much been sorted, I have bought a violin for £100. It is full size, because there were no good 3/4, and if the violin didn’t sound good I wouldn’t have wanted to play it, so useless. I have found 2 places where I can play, the Lampeter Chamber Orchestra, which is a higher level of difficulty than I am used to, but hopefully it shall be alright. There are only 3 rehearsals before a concert, way less than at home, but as there are wind instruments and percussion the violins can kind of hide in that! Where I can’t really hide is the second place I’ve found, which is the student Folk Music Society. There I am the only violinist, and then there’s a couple guitars, a mandolin, and a bouzouki, a type of string instruments that sounds really cool! So I get to play the tune, and have a nice accompaniment:) And as it’s folk music it is not so difficult or complex, so it does sound really good.

I’ve just written 600 words, and this time probably should’ve been spent on the essay, but I did just want to update. Maybe I’ll just do a picture post soon, but there are just so many pictures I don’t know which ones to put up!

3 Days to go. How Lucky am I?

When I tell people that I am off to Wales for nearly a year, a common response is “you’re so lucky!” Well, yes and no. Firstly it is fortunate that I am Canadian, and simply that I am able to go to college. So people I tell are really just as ‘lucky’ as me to be here. Of course there isn’t too much else to say after I tell them I’m going to a tiny town in the middle of Wales, though “you’re so brave/what a great opportunity/it’s gonna be so much fun/so jealous” also has come up. But I digress. I don’t really consider it ‘luck’ that I am going to the University of Wales Trinity Saint David. Continue reading

5 More Days…Getting Things More Organized

It’s my last Tuesday this year! And yes I will keep thinking about it that way. Today I finished doing pretty much everything that I could do out of the house, so staying inside the rest of the week and packing! Well not really, still need a haircut, but otherwise yeah. My sisters have all their activities beginning again, and all I’m doing is staying home. Of course that will drastically change by next week, so I’m not really complaining. Just a fact really. Continue reading

My Last Monday…In Victoria. This Year.

I leave in 6 days for Wales! Yet doesn’t seem real. I mean, I have everything prepared (everything is bought, from pens to socks to kitchen supplies all organized on the counter) but still, 6 is just a number. I’ve been thinking about the exchange for 10 months. 10 whole months I’ve thought things like “I won’t be here for Christmas next year. I’m not gonna be able to do Easter Eggs at home next year.” So for the date to finally be here, so close, it doesn’t quite seem like it’s actually going to happen. Obviously it will happen (quite a large scholarship riding on it, as well as all the stuff my parents have bought me) though really, 6 days or 60, same kind of feeling. Continue reading

What I Should Be Doing…

This week I have officially accepted the offer of placement at University of Wales Trinity Saint David, so yes I am actually going! Not that there was every any really big doubt, Camosun has a regular exchange with them so it was pretty much just fill out the paperwork. But still, a big relief when it is official (well, I still have to do the Visa stuff, but lets not think about that for now). However to get it official, I had to send these 2 forms back to Wales.

I could have just posted them through the mail, but maybe it is my 21st century outlook, and the fact that I personally have never, except for a few cards to my grandmother years and years ago, sent anything by post. I don’t even know if we have many stamps at home, and I’d have to buy some then, and get it in an envelope, write the address and all that stuff. So, I did not want to do it that way. I could have faxed them, but we don’t really have a fax machine at home, and again the cost. Well, actually we do have a printer that apparently faxes, but that would have involved finding the right cables and plugging them into the walls somewhere.

In the end, we decided to scan them into the computer via said printer. But, the computer it is hooked up to does not accepts scans, so I spent nearly an hour trying to connect the printer to my older sister’s laptop. It did not work. Then my mother tried, and in 5 minutes she got both of the forms done. Looking back, perhaps the fax would have been better and more straightforward, but whatever, it is done. Now I think that Trinity Saint David needs to send me a couple more documents, Visa number etc. Until then, nothing more I can do either with Camosun or them, as helpful as these people are. With the time zone difference Trinity Saint David replies to me in the middle of the night, which is fine, but it means no more than 1 email a day. And so far all contact with them has been very nice and prompt, and the International liaison over there seems very nice so I’m sure once over there they will be very helpful. The International liaison at Camosun as well has been so great, answering my millions of questions when I was freaking out the most due to deadlines and stress. So thank you International Office at Camosun, for being kind to my pestering.

Now that things for Trinity Saint David are mostly sorted, I can just relax and enjoy the summer here, right? Continue reading

I am going to Wales!!!

September 2011 I began attending Camosun College, in the city I have lived my entire life, Victoria, British Columbia, Canada. Previous year to that, I was at Belmont Secondary, not graduating, but just taking enough (English 12) to get into Camosun and take Humanities courses. And 2 AP courses, which I got good enough grades on the exam, so I got 12 Camosun credits (4 classes) without ever being on campus. But I digress.

September comes and I am enrolled in 4 classes, and yes really liking them. And while waiting for my sister to finish her class so that she could drive me home, I would be in the library not doing homework but looking up various ways to get to Europe. I considered being an Au Pair and/or SWAP for a couple months, me thinking that as soon as my first year was over that I would get on a plane and go. But, it did not seem like the best plan, and it never went farther than just looking at various websites. My plan at that point was, for at least a little while, spend a year at Camosun, then do a year at the University of Victoria, do an exchange through them, then finish my last year back at UVic. Way back in highschool I had considered doing an exchange through Camosun, but discounted the thought after seeing the…calibre of schools UVic does exchanges with, and then Camosun. This was after a very quick overview of the Camosun schools, and in no way do I want to disparage them. I just mean,  going from the UVic to the University of Exeter (ranked in the top 10 universities in England, I think) to a tiny university in Wales, at a glance did not seem the most exciting. That was months and months ago, before I really researched the University of Wales Trinity Saint David. Continue reading