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Friday, 10 February 2012

Culture Shock: Landing in England

-By Troy

London: Trafalgar Square

I’m trudging through the cobble stone streets after spending a grand total of 32 hours in airports and 3 hours on a train. I’m tired and it’s cold and I haven’t got a map. I’m lugging my bags behind me and have no idea where I am!

I’ve arrived in Exeter, Devon and have just found out I was meant to buy linen for my student accommodation so I decided to walk into town to locate a department store….

And after a very VERY long walk see that all the stores in the UK close at 4pm. Now I am grumpy! That’s it; I’m going home!

A week later and I still haven’t fully sorted out all my subject selections. I’ve flown all this way and nothing is working out! Yep, I’m totally done.

Two weeks later, things are starting to fall into place!

Culture shock is the experience of adjusting to a new culture, a new place –

I did a little reading on this before I left for my Deakin Study Abroad program and honestly thought I was the last person that this could happen to!

It can manifest in many ways – Sadness, homesickness, grumpiness, frustration, and it’s completely NORMAL! Many students come to Deakin from all over the country as well as interstate, and I’ll pass on two pieces of advice that was given to me on my first day of study in the UK:

1. Don’t Panic.


There have been so many days over the last two weeks where I have felt so fed up, so over it, I’d have happily jumped on the nearest flight back to Melbourne. But something in the back of my head stops me and says, ‘Hang on, I wanted this, I made this happen... I’m doing it!’

University of Exeter Streatham Campus
Transition is hard – and I anticipate many of you are in the same boat – And starting at a new place is scary! But stick with it – seek out help and support and be hopeful that things are going to work out. If you’re away from home, I found bringing photos and little reminders helped heaps! And keep connected on Facebook and Skype.

A Gum-Tree outside
my student res block!

Three weeks down; I have shared the ups and downs with housemates - my new brothers and sisters for the next six months; I have all my coursework settled, and I’m already planning some trips up to London, France and Amsterdam. Things are looking up!
Peace out!

My new flatmates and me (in the middle)!


  1. Love the gum tree! Good on you for doing it. I'm watching my nieces and nephews and wish I'd made something like this happen before I was raising a family & studying. Do it now & enjoy it - opportunities don't always come knocking a second time.

  2. Ah, traveling, what could be better?! I love travelling around, exploring but I have been set back a bit due to circumstances beyond my control but it is so exciting to hear your story, Troy.

  3. I love the pics Troy ! Wow after 6 months you'll almost be a local.

  4. Hi Troy! I can't wait to here the next post on your adventure abroad.

  5. Defintely, keep us updated, Troy! Great post.

  6. How exciting. I too wish I'd done something like this when I was younger. I guess it's never too late right?! I will look forward to the next instalment of your adventure!