Two weeks in

By Hailey H.

Jan. 22, 2016

by Hailey H.

I have almost reached the two week mark of my time here in Norwich, Norfolk, United Kingdom, and I already feel as though I have experienced the full range of emotions in such a short time. Honestly, when I saw the W curve of culture shock, I assumed that I would skip all the unpleasant bits and go right to the end, or stay in the honeymoon phase for the duration of my term abroad. However, despite being in an English-speaking country, I have not been immune to the isolation of culture shock and extreme home sickness.


That being said, I think I am finally reaching a point in my familiarity of the area around me and the way things operate here that I am starting to feel comfortable again. The image below is one that I took of a river that flows through the city center on my way to visit a friend at her flat. I navigated the bus system to get there and back, and successfully found my way through the winding streets of the Norwich lanes to her complex. It might not sound like much, but I must take small steps before I can run and this, as someone who has never taken public transportation before, was a victory.

Norwich canal

Every time I visit the city, I find it even more lovely. This past week, I spent an afternoon exploring Norwich Cathedral, guided by a kind and knowledgeable volunteer, obviously very in love with his duty to educate tourists like me. Wandering around this 900-year-old building, I felt connected to those who had seen it before me and in awe of the sheer history that this country has to offer me.

Norwich cathedral

Norwich cathedrals

Some other quirky places I have stumbled upon and enjoyed are The Bear Shop, a store that is absolutely packed to capacity with stuffed animals, not just bears, as well as an Italian restaurant called Pinocchio’s.

bear shop

All in all, it has been a whirlwind few weeks, but every day I feel more at east with my surroundings. I am enrolled in three classes here at the University of East Anglia: creative writing, Jane Austen and the Brontës, and media representation, all of which have been enjoyable and engaging. I can’t wait to see where the next few months take me!

About the blogger

Hailey H. is studying abroad on the University of East Anglia program in Norwich, United Kingdom.