Monday, September 28, 2015

Aber Day 9 -11

This will just be a quick update because I wanted to show everyone some pictures I took.

Saturday night I hiked to the top of Constitution Hill to watch the sunset. It was very beautiful to see. I was told that on a clear night, you could see Ireland, but it must have needed to be more clear than it was. I will put the pictures at the end of this post, but it was so beautiful to see the town down beneath and to see out onto the water. I could also see the next town over. It was just amazing. It was amazing how green the hills are. The pictures do not do the view justice.

On Sunday, I went to the shooting range with the Clay Pigeon Shooting Club. The range was an hour away, which is not very fun on a minibus. When we got to the range, I finally saw my first corn field in Wales! Around Aber there is nothing but sheep fields because there are hills and mountains everywhere. I also finally saw a proper tractor in Wales. I was a New Holland T7 or T8, not sure which because it was kind of far away, but it was cultivating a field. I have to admit that I stared at it for a while. I know it is harvest time back home, which is my favorite time of the year. This is the first time in about 10 years that I have not taken part in driving a tractor or combine. It is very sad for me. Anyway back to the shooting. We went around to different stations where the pigeons flew from all sorts of directions at us. It was pretty fun. It is not like shooting trap. These pigeons are flying in all different directions from many different spots and angles.

This morning was first class. Yes, you read that correct. Classes are just now starting! The class is called Food, Farming, and the Environment. I think it will be a good class. I will definitely get to see how agriculture is different here from back in the United States. My schedule seems so light compared to what I am used to expect from Purdue. I only spend 11 hours a week in class. 11 hours would be about a day and a half of classes back at Purdue, so I will have a lot more free time here compared to back home.

Well that is all for now!

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Aber day 5-9

I have been here for about a week now. On Tuesday (the 22nd), I went to the sports fair where many of the clubs from Aber try to get new people to join. I believe I will join the Clay Pigeon Club and maybe the Hiking Club. The hiking club requires a lot of new gear that I would need to buy so I may just go hiking on my own. I went to go buy more groceries that afternoon so I am not just living on Ramen noodles.

Wednesday I milled around the societies fair, but did not find anything that looked that interesting. My advisor here is really into bird watching, so he took all of his students out to this national park where we saw what they call Red Kites come in and feed. It was a very beautiful park and it was very neat to see all the birds come down. He bought us hot chocolate or tea or coffee and we got to talk to the other students from around the world. It was very fun. There just does not seem to be that much going on here during Aber's welcome week compared to Purdue or to what Sarah is doing. It is kind of boring here during the afternoons/nights.

Thursday, for one of my classes there was a tractor demo. We went out to a different campus (only about a mile away) and the professor went over tractor safety on hills and slopes. I got to drive one of the tractors back, so that was fun. The tractors that Aber owns are so small. They were probably on 50 hp each. Not really what I am used to back home.

On Friday, the agriculture department had a cookout that I went to. They had hamburgers, salad (with no dressing), coleslaw, and these smaller potatoes that had some kind of white dressing on them. They were cold and I did not really care for them. It was still a neat ordeal. I also had to sit through a fire safety meeting for the dorms, that was not very fun. That was pretty much it for the night.

Today I went to a few grocery stores with some other people in my room. Tonight is a big rugby match between England and Wales, so it sounds like all the pubs will be packed.

Here are some pictures from the last few days.

Well that is about all for now. Classes start Monday, so that will be interesting to see how that goes!


Monday, September 21, 2015

Aber Days 2-4

There has been a lot going on lately here at Aber! So after we woke up on Saturday morning, we got brekfast at the hotel and then set off to find the campus to drop my bags off. Shortly after we started off, I realized it was a ten minute car ride not a ten minute walk. I had been warned about the hill, so we decided to get a cab! When we got to the top I picked up my ID card and room key and went to my room! Kinda small but it's not too bad! Much different than the states. Over here I have 7 other roommates (4 American, 1 Czech Republic, and 2 Chinese) that all share 2 bathrooms, 2 showers, and a kitchen. After I sat my stuff down we went around campus a bit, found a sale that sold cookware, and then headed down the hill into town. Sarah and Peggy found a lot of clothing shops they stopped into! Aber is a really neat little town. There is a lot of little shops along the road and not many cars which is really nice. I had to go find bedding so we did that as well. Sarah and I made the climb up the hill, which was not fun at all. We stopped to take a break twice in the way up. We dropped off the stuff I bought then headed back down so Sarah and Peggy could catch their bus and continue their vacation before Sarah stats school in another week! It was really hard to say goodbye to her, but it's good to know that I will be able to see her soon! For the rest of the day I just kind of unpacked and got things organized. 

Yeaterday, all the exchange students went to a presentation in the morning to give us a little background on the college and kind of what to expect. In the afternoon I was finally able to do laundry! I just kind of hung out with some of the other flatmates then called it a night. 

Today isn't the best weatherwise. It was cold this morning and now it can't decide if it wants to rain or not. After I woke up, there was a trade fair where local businesses were on campus to try to get students to come to their business by giving out free stuff an coupons. At noon, I had a meeting with my advisor here with other exchange students. He gave us a tour of the building I will most likely be spending most of my time. Here shortly I will meet with him one-on-one to pick my classes. 

Here are some pictures from the first day in Aber!

Friday, September 18, 2015

Paris day 2-5 and Aber day 1

Just got back from dinner a bit ago in Aberystwyth, Wales, and here is what has been happening.

On our first full day in Paris, we started out by grabbing a bagel and then hoping on the metro and heading to the Notre Dame Cathedral. This was a very neat place to go. Both the outside and inside were done with so much detail. It was amazing.
We then ventured toward Luxembourg Garden, which was very cool to see as well. The garden was kept in perfect shape with all the hedges and trees trimmed and not a single weed in sight.
Next we went to the Eiffel tower. It was much bigger than I thought it would be. We could have climbed to the top but Peggy, Sarah, and I were all too tired for that! There was a lot of people there so that brought along the vendors selling the selfy sticks and Eiffel tower key chains.
Later that day, Sarah and I went out for dinner to this restaurant that was highly recommended on Trip Adviser, however they did not say anything about the neighborhood it was it. We were pretty nervous because the neighborhood was pretty dirty and there was not many people around. Well we found the restaurant and for some reason it was locked so we got the heck out of there! We headed back to the Eiffel tower because we were told it would light up at night on the hour. When it did, it was pretty neat to see. The pictures do not do it justice. It was amazing!

The next day it was raining so we headed for a botanical garden. It was very neat to see all the different plants and fish. We then went to see the Statue of Liberty that is in Paris. It is ,much smaller, probably around 40 feet tall. Later that day, Sarah found a mall that she was interested in going to. When we found it, there was tons of people just standing outside waiting for their tour bus to pick them up. Once we got inside it was still pretty crowded. The prices were outrageous! We saw one dress that cost €2500, which would be around $2800! We quickly decided to skip the shopping and head for the roof where we could see the entire city! Very neat view of everything! We then grabbed some food, where I had some pretty good lasagna, and headed back to the hotel for the night.

The next morning, we still had not received Sarah's bag, so we headed to the airport to see if there was anything we could do there. They said it still could be in Rome, but the lady did not sound too confident when saying that. When we got back to the hotel, we decided to go walking aroun

d the area of the hotel. Sarah and I then got dinner then went off to the Eiffel tower to meet one of her roommates at Nottingham. We got a crepe and headed in for the night.

Today was mostly a travel day with 3 trains to get to Aberystwyth, where we are now. I check onto my school tomorrow to start my welcome week!

Here are some pictures from throughout the week!