I arrive in Manchester, England.
I go straight from the airport to my accommodation and whilst the check-in was easy, it was not easy finding out that my flatmates were not expecting my arrival. One flatmate, out of eight, had supposedly dropped out after the last semester: at least that’s what they believed. They were never notified if she would be replaced so when I walked in claiming I was their new flatmate, they weren’t rude but were definitely taken aback. That being said, I’m not sure which side was more shocked because I also did not expect a suite with eight single rooms, for four girls and four boys, two bathrooms and one kitchen – that was left as a giant mess from before winter break. I was informed by previous students that this specific accommodation was the best and that I “had to live there” to make the most of my experience. For this reason, I purposely did not ask about the suite setup. I had heard beforehand that University students in the United Kingdom do not have shared rooms and knowing that was enough for me. Although it was not even remotely similar to what I was used to (in University Gateway and West 27th) and I understandably had initial doubt living with seven other people, I knew I made the right decision in choosing this accommodation – or to be honest, I just hoped and prayed a little.
Luckily for me, I had the opportunity to travel for a week before I officially had to move in: I arrived in Manchester a full week before our international business orientation. I explored Liverpool, a small city in the North called Southport, and even took a 2-hour train down to London for a few days. I used the week to prepare myself to move in and to give my flatmates time to adjust to the idea of a new, American flatmate.