14 August: I arrived at the FSU Centre for orientation. The facility is actually a collection of old row houses that have been repurposed as an educational facility, so it’s a bit of a rabbit warren trying to get around. Fortunately all our classes are held in one room, so it’s not terribly complicated.
Our Program Director Val Reid was extremely informative about the program, the local area and general London knowledge. Since then I’ve found her very approachable and always more than willing to help with problems or give a quick bit of advice.
After the orientation the school hosted a cheese and wine reception, where I got to meet more of my classmates for the trip, as well as a few of our professors. As a side note, the cheese over here is amazing. I’m sure whatever they had at the reception was quite pricy, but even the cheap store-brand cheeses are remarkable.
After the reception we broke for dinner, but we eventually all got together to go out to the pubs. First we went to London Pub and had a couple pints, exchanged mobile numbers, and generally got to know each other. We then left for The Court, where we had a few more drinks. There we met up with some Canadians and found some North American solidarity in midst of the mother country.
Tip VI: Cider is quite popular here. Apple, Pear, it the doesn’t seem to matter the fruit, however all of it is hard cider with an alcohol content similar to beer. Adjust your consumption appropriately.
It was a good night with good friends, new and old.