First impressions from Manchester

"Your first year at uni does not count anyway!" "Oh please, first year is going to be really easy if you manage to do the IB!"

Yep, those are the famous comments I used to hear all the time from my older friends in grade 12 before graduation. Somehow I realized that it was all lies at one of these welcome talks before the university even started.

Anyway - here we go. First lesson of Chinese ever. I thought it was going to be pretty easy, we won't really do much, maybe we will just go through the semester plan. I mean, after all, it is the very first lesson. Nope! Quite the contrary. We managed to cover the four tones, all of the vowels and consonants, we learned two short conversations and in the end we had been given a pile of homework. Looking back at it after 7 weeks, I sadly smile at how easy everything was back then. However, you realize it is all worth it when you are able to have (very limited) conversation with your Chinese friends who are always more than happy to help you out with everything. I walked by a group of Chinese students and all I understood was "drink coffee" - I have no idea who drank or didn't drink coffee, but the fact that I understood even two simply words made my entire day.

I'm finally getting used to life in England (that's right, I look to the right direction before crossing the street), but there are still some things I'll probably never understand. Like why is the door lock turned upside down? Or why are there two separate taps in the sink for cold and hot water? I either burn my hands while doing the dishes or they are stone cold by the time I finish.

Of course there are many positive sides as well. For example, the weather. To my surprise it almost didn't rain and the Sun shined even more than back in the Czech Republic. Manchester is a really big city compared to Ostrava which offers countless food or shop options and I really appreciate that I can get cookies at 10pm in not even 2 minutes.

The university itself is absolutely amazing. We have different native speakers for all our lectures and we cover various topics, ranging from history to society. Every lesson is different and lively and I can't wait until the day I can have a proper conversation in Chinese.

Time really does fly here and I can't believe how quickly these two months went by, especially when I'm always busy with something to do. I joined a couple of societies, for example cheerleaders, and we managed to learn an entire choreography in two weeks and we cheered for our uni rugby team, which was very exciting, because that was my first rugby game ever.

Finally, I'd love to thank The Kellner Family Foundation for the enormous support, thanks to which I could make my dream come true and thanks to which I could have experienced that tea with milk tastes better than it sounds.

More blog articles

All news