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Prologue: In Which I Introduce Myself and Ponder the Coming Semester

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Written by Charissa Roberson

Hey Brackety-Ack readers! This is Charissa Roberson, and I’m a sophomore at Roanoke College. Except this semester I’m not actually “at” Roanoke College. Instead, I’m studying at Ulster University, Magee College, in Northern Ireland—and right here, in this column, I have the super fun privilege of sharing some of my adventures with you! My hope is to provide a glimpse into what it’s like to study abroad, including all the mishaps, discoveries, and lessons learned along the way.

Since Magee College starts classes a good bit later than Roanoke, I’m currently watching my friends return to campus, and I can’t deny a bit of sadness. While I’m beyond stoked to spend 3 months in a new country, it feels strange not to be returning to Roanoke.  Instead of hauling a truck-full of supplies to a new dorm room, I’m doing my best to cart around everything I need in one suitcase, a duffle bag, and a backpack that can slide under an airplane seat. It’s also strange to be studying abroad as a sophomore. I just did the whole “go to a new school and make all new friends” thing last year, and here I am doing it all over again!

But despite all that, I can’t wait to get started at Magee College.  To pick my classes, get my books, and meet my professors. To get to know new people, including fellow international students.  To explore the fascinating city of Derry/Londonderry, with its magnificent walls, stunning surroundings, and rich history. And along the way, I’ll get to share the experience with you! So check back here in two weeks’ time, when I’ll be in residence at Magee College and ready to give an update on my journey thus far.

‘Til next time,

Charissa