Once I got rest, food and toilet paper, Oxford was looking quite a bit lovelier! Saturday I spent doing a lot of errands, at least as much as I could. As an international student, you can’t do almost anything in England without having a bank account and having officially enrolled as a student. And you can’t even get the bank account until after enrollment. My program enrollment time wasn’t until Thursday of orientation week, so that’s a week of not being able to do a lot of useful things. Another downfall of not having officially enrolled yet was no internet access. Luckily, this is one of the few situations where it pays to be an over planner. I had researched and planned and printed out so many maps and stores and where I needed to go for various things months ago, so when I got here and had no internet to look up where the closest grocery store was, it wasn’t such a big deal, because I already had a map with it marked. Others have not been so lucky.
I am very happy with the grocery store here. I’m lucky enough to live close to a very large and extremely well stocked store, which isn’t the case for all the dorms on campus, so I am uber grateful about that. Most pleasing was that there is a large selection of fresh fruits and vegetables, which I was most nervous about before heading over. Blackberries are huge in England, and are really delicious! Maybe even as good as Oregon blackberries…. The store has a really large selection of International food too, like Italian, Asian, Indian and even American! Things like Pop Tarts, peanut butter and Fruit Loops are all there when I start to miss them.
Sunday morning before church ( I have late church, boo!), I walked around Oxford for a bit, getting to know the area. I started at my dorm room and walked to the city centre and meandered for a bit. The architecture is old and gorgeous! A lot of the buildings were kind of intimidating though, because for the various colleges of Oxford University, if you don’t belong to that particular college, you are not allowed inside the building/courtyard areas. There are certain colleges that open up some parts for a small fee for a few hours on certain days, but that’s about it! Even the Bodleian Library has restricted access. Regardless, the buildings were amazing to look at, and it was fun to explore the city a bit!One of my favorite things so far about Oxford are the large parks! There is a huge one right next to my dorm. It’s this massive green field with some trees scattered about. It’s so calming to look at, hopefully the weather will be nice enough every once in a while for me to really enjoy the parks!