[Farewell] Toward My Last Day in Durham

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After crazy five exams I finally got freedom. But wait…there are only 3 days left for me in Durham.

It is sort of an early departure compared with others, but I have to go for my summer project. Saying goodbye to friends here is not hard literally if you don’t bother yourself thinking when you could meet them again. We met in the dining hall, chatting and laughing as usual, and we told others when we will leave. Departure seems to be a date which is cold and irrelevant, but after that you won’t be able to show up in the dining hall again. It is painful indeed, as painful as any of separations we suffered in graduation and moving, and the worst part is, it is “international”–If I am not going to study or work in UK again, which is probably the case at least in near future because I need to finish my undergraduate degree in China, I may never see them in person forever. Even though many of my friends are from my home country, we study different courses and from different parts, so it is still hard to meet again if we are no longer belong to the same college.

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I don’t want to make this blog a lengthy and boring “Thanks to everybody” passage, but I really appreciate Durham to give me such a wonderful opportunity to know such wonderful persons. I also appreciate my friends in Durham especially for the birthday party you prepared. You make my days shining. Everything will become memory in the end and my days in Durham will definitely be the most precious one.

Despite of “goodbyes”, leaving UK is not an absolute bad news–I will see my parents and my sweetest sister soon after 9 month abroad and new life as a summer student in USA is waiting. Also, I miss Chinese food so much–Personally I think I am quite cultural adaptive and could live and work everywhere, but unfortunately my stomach is always Chinese. I will post more photos (I typed it as “photons” first, god knows what exams did to me!) if possible when I am in China!

P.S. I hear someone singing happy birthday outside the college, wish him/her a happy day

5 things about Durham University I didn’t know I would love

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Hello everyone ! This is my first article, I hope you’ll enjoy it !

As an Erasmus student at Durham University, the past two months have been slightly different for me than for the other Freshers. First thing first, this year is currently my third, and I will receive my Bachelor degree from Sciences Po Paris at the end of the year (fingers crossed), but here at Durham, I and the others Erasmus, are considered as freshers. Except for the college: we live out, in our own houses. As I am a Hatfielder, it was a really bad news, because this college is amazingly beautiful. When you choose your destination for your year abroad, there are obviously the things you are very excited about. For me, it was the Castle, Harry Potter society and the Gala Theatre. Anyway, as you will find out when you take that flight and go live your dream year, a year abroad is also full of surprises. Fortunately, those 5 things are what make me so happy right now. Continue reading

A Night to Remember

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12 hours of partying in a castle? That’s so Durham.

On the 21 of July, the biggest annual Castle ball called June Ball took place and beat all measures. It’s a white tie event and the biggest ball in Durham. Here’s how I experienced this 12h long ball:

5.12pm          Finally dressed up with my ball gown and my make-up and hair is finished. Let’s walk up to the castle.

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5.32pm          We’re taking lots of photos in front of the cathedral. Everyone looks so pretty.We get a glass of champagne and enjoy the afternoon sun.

6.08pm          I’m having a look at the seating plan and we’re now allowed to enter the marquee on Palace Green (the grass field in front of the castle). The theme of this June Ball is revealed on the cards on the tables: Night at the museum. The tables are decorated with small bushes, apples and wooden golden snakes – Garden of Eden.

6.51pm          First course is served. Smoked salmon with summer pickles, viola, caviar (never tried caviar before… that’s so posh!) and horseradish cream. I’m sitting next to people I’ve never met before but we ended up spending quite a bit of the evening as a group which was great fun.

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7.18pm          Second course is served: A lime sorbet.

8.13pm          Main course arrived: Fillet of beef.

8.42pm          The dessert was a strawberry cheesecake. Yum!

10.28pm        Now it’s still a bit light but the sunset was approximately half an hour ago. People are queuing for the ferris wheel. However, we first explore the courtyard of the castle and get ready for the fireworks. There’s another champagne reception in the Castle entrance and live Egyptian sculptures watch you making your way into the castle.

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1) Ferris wheel 2) and 3) Fireworks 4) The Hoosiers

10.50pm        The fireworks starts with music played in the background. That was amazing!

11.02pm        We’re trying out the ferris wheel. It was great fun and who else gets to go on a ferris wheel surrounded by a cathedral and a castle?

11.16pm        Back in the castle the DU brass band was playing.

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11.31pm        We discover the petting zoo where you can hold rabbits, guinea pigs or snakes.

11.52pm        We enjoy Smores in the castle courtyard.

midnight        The old excec go down the castle steps and the new excec goes up. From now on the new elected excec are in charge.

00.35pm        The hoosiers are giving a concert in the great hall. What an experience – they were so good!

2.22pm          DULOG perform some songs in the senate suite. People here are so talented!

3.10pm          We finally made it to the silent disco! We got headphones where we could switch between two channels. Great fun!

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Silent disco

5pm               It’s already light outside. We’re queuing for some hog roast. I’m getting tired.

5.13pm          Our final “Angels” song is played. The ball is coming to an end.

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“I’m loving angels instead”

5.30pm          A survivors photo is taken and we’re making our way to the marquee where breakfast is served.

6.30pm          After saying goodbye to everyone as I’ll be leaving the next day, I’m making my way home in the morning sun.

I want to thank the June Ball Committee for organising such a great event! I appreciate your hard work!

 

The Bicycle Land (Part 2)

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So, where were we? Oh yeah, saying goodbye to Groningen and getting back to Amsterdam.  Holiday crew update: from “dos travelling amigos”, we became “tres partners in crime” with our friend Emina flying in from London.  We spent 4 nights in the Airbnb flat that was practically located in the centre and therefore in a walking distance from everything fun in this famous “canal city”.

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Holiday crew a.k.a. “tres partners in crime”

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