When you first kiss your parents goodbye and head off to collegiate orientation, you are thrilled– you have finally become a part of this brave new world that you have been waiting for seemingly forever to join. Lectures about on-campus services, clubs, and other standard subjects like adjusting to college life are exciting because it’s all such a new experience.

Two years in? Not so much. I do have to give orientation credit- I met Liz and Emma, two of my American friends here, at the sessions. But really, the only information I really needed was how to register for classes. Culture shock? Nonessential, especially considering the fact that I go to school on a regular basis hundreds of miles from home anyway, so it’s not like I’m an less likely to go home than if I was in D.C.

Which brings us to another point. Registration. Why on earth schools think that it is necessary for their international students to wait to register until they arrive is beyond me. I much prefer the method of battling it out online with other students with my amount of credits at midnight in April. Makes it so much easier in the long term.

Registration involved a long, complicated process that involved three buildings and much too much time. Prior to arriving at Victoria, we had to send in for course approval. Then our first step on registration/ enrolment day was to have our courses signed off on. I ended up filling in one course that I didn’t want to take because I had not been pre-approved for a class I really wanted; turns out that was because it’s year-long. So now I am stuck in the other; undoubtedly there will be more discussion of that later. Then we had to go have our passports checked, and then it was on to actually turn in our forms and enrol and then go pay our fees- for insurance.

Altogether, really not a fascinating process, but necessary in order to start the trimester. The rest of the week was quiet- I never realized how quiet it is not having a roommate. I did not want to have to worry about someone else’s habits for one trimester, but it is very quiet in my room- no worries, though, the floor noise more than makes up for it. Below is a picture of my room- small, but cosy.

During the week it’s a fairly quiet life here- doing readings for school, watching movies, eating in the dining room. A bit of reading, although I’m trying to not have to ship a box of books home, so not too much of that, which is disappointing. Classes started the next week, so I’ll detail more on that later, as there are many differences between the US and NZ in terms of collegiate academics.


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