It’s that time of year again. Yeah, I know classes are about to start but that’s not the point. It’s that summer break is ending, and I have 100 things left to do.

Another list chucked away again.

I packed my things, just like the past two years,¬†and got ready to stay away from home once more. Only this time, it wasn’t a 4-hour journey to my destination but a 13-hour one.¬†It wasn’t because my ride broke down.

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My prayers have been heard. I am currently writing this in ISV my Halls of Residence at Southampton, UK. Hurray!

It’s been almost two weeks since most of the transitioning USMC students have arrived in the UK and I’m sure we’ve all already experienced¬†numerous things.

When we arrived at¬†Heathrow airport,¬†the people welcomed us, but the weather did not. When the pilot announced during the flight that the temperature in London was currently 15¬įC , all I could think of was how to turn this plane back. As a person that doesn’t function well at low temperatures, I chose a good part of the world to spend my two years at.

The university arranged a Meet & Greet service for us, hence we were greeted by students from the UK campus upon arrival at the airport. We all then hopped onto the coach (long-distance bus) and headed into the unknown.

Once at Southampton, we separated to our respective accommodations and called it a day.

Note #1: A duvet is important.

As transitioning USMC students had workshops and labs to complete and talks to attend before lectures start, we arrived a week earlier than most students. Because of that, the halls and university were deserted. Among the things we did included the combustion lab where we finally got to see the Ricardo E6 Engine and the Automotive Engine in the flesh (or metal). I clearly remember having to watch a video recording for the Ricardo engine test back in 1st year and not being able to hear anything the lecturer/technician was saying because of the roar of the engine.

This time, it was no different and I had to put my lip-reading skills to the test.

Other than that, we were given a tour of the FEE Workshops, made a hammer using the lathe & milling machines and had a go at welding. The EDMC (Engineering and Design Manufacturing Centre) will leave you in tears.

Note #2: The Highfield campus is a never-ending maze that will blow your mind. Also check out the Common.

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My Mjölnir.

One of the benefits of staying at the university halls would be the Uni-link bus pass that comes with it. The Uni-link routes do not cover the entire Southampton city but do have stops at important points (university campuses, halls, city centre, etc.). An annual pass would cost you a shocking £385.

Note #3: Do not lose your Uni-link pass.

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City centre.

We were able to find items essential for our survival around the city centre and Portswood.

Note #4: Price>Quality Рto a really really far certain extent.

The university’s student association (SUSU¬†penuh krim) organises many events targeted at Freshers (new students) throughout the week before term starts. These varies from parties to fairs.

Note #5: Attend every event that gives you things and feeds you for free.

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Other memorable stuffs so far:

  • Ate¬†British desserts made by members of the Christian Union at their weekly¬†International Cafe.
  • Attended a Ceilidh where I did some Scottish dancing to live music provided by the Folk Society and watched a performance by the Irish Dance Society.
  • Met more Malaysians at the Malaysian Students Association (MSA) freshers’ meetup.
  • Had a¬†¬£10 meal at 7Bone Burger Co. Dirty fries for the win!
  • Met Susu – the honorary president of the Student’s Union. Don’t be shy to greet her when you see her.
  • Saw a fox rummaging through a bin in the middle of the city at night.
  • Ate curry laksa in Portsmouth.
  • Went to the Bunfight but only saw a baguette at the French Society’s booth.
  • Froze in the wind and rain during the hockey and Ultimate Frisbee outdoor taster sessions.

I’ve met seniors, lecturers, my project supervisor & tutor, flatmates, bus drivers, adorable pets, international & local students, staffs, and I absolutely can’t wait to meet even more.

A warm welcome

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