Cougars looking to promised land
by Chris Jaster
Eyes on Sports
Go Bettman go!
by Steven Kiser
Fit as a fiddle
A dream we all share
by Julie Folk
Cougars control own destiny
by Chris Jaster
NDP’ers speak amongst friends
by Jeanette Stewart
Arts plus co-op equals a useful degree
by Jeanette Stewart
Regina gets Bloc’d
by Chris Jaster
Loose a tonne and feel great
by Cassie Hawrysh
Trouble in paradise
by Stephane Bonneville
A reflection on England
by Morgan bradshaw
Aught four: The year in film
by Dan MacRae, Steven Kiser, Cassie Ozog and Kent Farago
Humanities darkest hour
by Emily Elias
Spliced Politics in film: not rubbish
by Luke Fandrich
2004: Year of the biopic
by Ryan Good
Racism rears its ugly head
Bad moon rising
by Justin Ludwig
Confessions of a freshman
I pierced my face
by Amy O’Teri
At the Gates
Food, faith and friends
by Lee Harding
A reflection on England–––
by Morgan bradshaw
Morgan Bradshaw studies abroad
Good day from England, oops, I mean Regina. I have returned from England for the winter semester and I must say, it was an amazing time. I cannot say enough good things about England, but I will give it my best effort to enlighten you.
Before I arrived in England, I was unsure of what to expect. How friendly were the locals going to be? Was England going to be as great as people were telling me? How different was the culture going to be? The one thing that I did expect to happen was that I was going to have a great time no matter what. How right I was.
While riding the train from London to York, it did not take me long to notice the beauty of the country. I have always liked the look of brick houses. There is something about them that makes them stand out. Just looking outside and seeing the green hills of the country made me realize that I was no longer at home. It was nothing like the flat prairies where you might see a hill every 10 miles when you’re driving down the highway. This was England, the place where I would be calling home for the next three months.
When I arrived at the University of York St. John, I met up with one of my friends from back home. After I got into my room and dropped off my luggage, he showed me around the city centre. As we were walking around learning about York, I couldn’t help but think how much I was going to love this place. My adrenaline was so high that I wasn’t even tired after only getting one hour of sleep on a 24-hour journey. Seeing the cobblestone roads, several little tourist shops and street entertainment, I just knew this experience was going to be great.
As far as the locals–they were just great. Everybody was friendly and willing to help out if you needed something. One of my friends told me that in northern England, where I was, the locals were very friendly. In southern England, like London, the locals were more reserved and less friendly. It made me relieved I was in York.
During my time in England, I joined the University basketball team. That was one of the best decisions I made there. At first, I just wanted to play for fun, but as the tryouts went on, my competitive juices started flowing and it felt great to be out there playing a sport that I really enjoyed.
It was on the basketball team where I made some of my best friends. There were quite a few interesting players on the team. There was a guy who was very open about things and was not afraid to speak his mind, a Spaniard that would attempt to pick up girls in a Halloween mask with no success, and a guy who suggested things to wear for our basketball socials, and usually ended dressing up in embarrassing costumes, like babies or grannies. Overall, being on the basketball team gave me some of my favourite memories from England.
Unlike most of the others from Regina who went on the exchange program, I already knew some people from England. This was one of the reasons I chose to go to England in the first place. Having people I knew there really helped a lot, as they acted a bit like tour guides. If nothing was going on around campus, I would have someone to go for a drink with. One of my friends actually let me borrow his television, and another one let me borrow a cell phone.
That leads me to another point. It took me a while to get used to some of the English terminology. I still don’t know what some of the words they said meant. Words like “twat,” “wanker,” and “bloody hell” rolled off my tongue as often as I say “eh.” But some words confused the heck out of me, like “dummy” (pacifier), “loo” (toilet), and “crisps” (potato chips).
One of the great experiences of the trip was getting the opportunity to travel.
I was lucky enough to travel to Scotland, Paris and a few other cities and towns in England. I was able to see the Mona Lisa, Old Trafford, and the Eiffel Tower. It is hard to fully appreciate some of these things unless you see them in person. Seeing them on television or in a picture does not do them justice.
England is well known for its pubs, for they are the best places to do any socializing. With 365 pubs in England, I ended up doing a lot of socializing. The best places to eat are also in the pubs. Many a delicious meal has gone down my belly, accompanied by a pint of English beer. And for those who think that all English beer is warm, it’s not. It is the ale that is served warm. That is why I stuck with drinking lager. Warm beer is disgusting.
The campus of York St. John is a very nice college. They recently built a new library, which was really nice. It wasn’t as nice as the new Kinesiology centre, but it was nice nonetheless. It was very easy to get around and was almost impossible to get lost in, although it did happen to me on a few occasions. The on-campus residence I stayed at was nice. The rooms were about twice as big as the ones in Luther. I even had my own sink. It may not sound that important, but to me it was a luxury. I loved it.
Thankfully, the weather was fairly decent in England. I did miss my summer, as I was a little jealous that Saskatchewan was having 20 above weather while it was barely 0 degrees where I was. But as winter started to set in and all of Saskatchewan was freezing, the coldest it ever got in England was -5 degrees. While the English were all wrapped up in their parkas and scarves and long underwear, I was out in a bunnyhug saying it was a nice day. I did miss the snow a little bit. I didn’t see a speck of it there, although now I wish it, along with the cold weather, would go away for a while.
I had mixed emotions leaving England. On one side, I was looking forward to going back home and seeing my family and friends in the frozen tundra that is known as Saskatchewan. On the other side it was hard to say goodbye to people that I became really good friends with. Some of those friends I had to say goodbye to for the second time, as well as saying goodbye to my home for the past three months. When I went to the train station to begin my journey back home, the emotional sap that I am shed a few tears, knowing that this wonderful experience was coming to an end.
As I look back at my experience in England, I realize that I was very lucky and privileged to get the opportunity to go on an exchange like this. It is not every day that you get the chance to go overseas. Before the trip, I had never traveled outside North America. I was not even interested in traveling before I met the English exchange students last year. Now that I have traveled overseas, I want the opportunity to do it again and see some of the things I didn’t see when I was there, like the Coliseum, the Leaning Tower of Pisa, and the Blarney Stone.
When I was talking to some of the people from England, they couldn’t fathom leaving the country to study overseas. They said the pressures of university were enough for them and they couldn’t think about leaving everything behind.
That thought hadn’t even crossed my mind. My mindset going into this was that this might be my only chance to go overseas to study. I was the only second year student from the U of R to go on this exchange. The people at the international office here said when I was applying that usually third or fourth year students get to go on the exchange. For that, I feel extremely fortunate.
This experience was everything I could have hoped for and more. I got to meet people from a different culture, made new friends, and came away with a greater appreciation for my country. I think we, as Canadians, take our country for granted. The English took their country for granted, and I was puzzled because their country was great. But I realized they lived there all their life and might not have had the opportunity to travel to other places. Now I want to find out more about my country and its history. I want to travel to the west and east coast and find out more about Canada.
For those people that might find this experience interesting, it is not too late.
There is still time for you to apply for the International Exchange. Just go down to the International Office and ask the people there about it. To end this off, I will end with a phrase that every person who went on an exchange told me when I was applying for the exchange program. It’s an experience of a lifetime. You won’t regret it. I know I didn’t.