The Global Lounge has become my “home base” at the University of Bristol and I’ve hung out there in between classes all week. They always have weekend city tours and activities to help international students adjust to the new country and the city of Bristol. Even when they don’t have a program scheduled it’s fun to meet other study abroad students to have some tea and biscuits in the afternoons!
This past weekend, the Global Lounge organized a walking tour of Clifton, a small neighborhood in Bristol. The main highlight of the tour was the Clifton Suspension Bridge, but I found the buildings that lined the street of Clifton to be just as stunning, especially considering it is one of the wealthiest neighborhoods in Bristol. And despite being a five minute walk from the City Centre, Clifton is very quiet.
It was very exciting to hear all about the history and construction of the Clifton Suspension from the early 1800’s as an engineering major. We also had the opportunity to walk across the bridge and, at the center, I remember feeling it sway with the wind. The grounds by the bridge’s observatory seemed to be a popular weekend spot with many dogs running around, families on bike rides, and couples on picnics too.
One of my favorite aspects about Bristol is the historic look and feel of the city. The buildings here have been carefully renovated on the inside while preserving the architecture on the outside. This includes the university accommodation too, as several of the dorms were built in the early 1700’s. A quick fun fact, my residence hall was opened in the early 1900’s by Winston Churchill. Churchill was Britain’s First Lord of the Admiralty during World War I, and later became the Prime Minister.
With the first week of classes over, I’ve had plenty of time to explore campus and scope out my favorite areas. The Royal Fort Gardens has quickly become my escape from the hustle and bustle of campus. There’s lots of greenery and even a porcupine habitat! In the afternoons, many students make use of the large space right by the gardens to do outdoor workouts and other activities. But there’s usually always a few students roaming the gardens, having a cup of tea, or reading on one of the many benches.
Now that I’m traveling from the neighborhood of Stoke Bishop to campus (located in Clifton) every day, I’ve had the chance to really familiarize myself with the new city. Within reason, I’ve allowed myself to get lost through the streets of Bristol and explore the cafes and shops. One of the chain cafes is actually called Boston Tea Party, which I find hilarious! Even trips to the supermarket have been fun and make me feel like a true, local Bristolian. I’ve only been here for about two weeks, but I can already tell leaving Bristol and its beautiful buildings is going to be so difficult for me!
A Message from the Office of Global Engagement:
The safety and security of Drexel students is a priority for the University. As part of the efforts to support Drexel students that are studying abroad during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Office of Global Engagement has conducted a rigorous review of programming and provided additional support to participating students with customized pre-departure orientations and regular check-ins during the required self-isolation period and the term.