For my first couple of weeks I felt like an outsider. I'm living with full time students on campus and it has helped me meet locals but it still didn't make me feel apart of the campus community. During my first week of classes I kind of just took time to adjust and become accustomed to the new learning style. I wasn't too sure what the difference between lectures and seminars were but I had a vague idea. People try to prepare you for them but it still is a bit weird walking into each of them. Comparing to classes at St. Mike's, a lecture is just like a regular class where a seminar is more like when a small group of students get together to focus on what you are learning about during the week.
After this week of learning, I began branching out and trying to talk to a few students in my classes. The hard part is that since everyone here knows everyone already they have their group of friends. I have to say though that after some conversations I have friends in each class. Also, I'm no longer hesitate to ask/answer a question during class to the lecturer or another student if I'm confused.
As the weeks began to go by I still felt a bit of an outsider and I couldn't figure out a way to feel at home. I was trying to figure out something to join but a lot of clubs meet on Saturdays and I liked to go exploring so I was hoping for something else. I lucked out one day and found a club that would be perfect for me! I found an Irish Step Dancing group on campus. It was just like the Celtic Knights back home so I was excited. They meet week nights and it is all basic steps. I am even participating in their end of the year performance! It has definitely made me feel more part of the community on campus.
My tip to anyone studying abroad is to find a group to join. Even though I live with full time students I didn't feel apart of the actual Bangor Community until I joined a club.