From John Bauergymnasiet to Napier University
Here I am, <10 minutes by bus from central Edinburgh, alone in my student room.
The room is quite simple and boring interior.
In the corner of the room there is a 90’s, creaking bed.
Next to the bed there is a rather robust, wooden coloured bedside table in a larger model.
A desk in the same wooden type as the bedside table, is found in the other side of the room.
It has the dimensions of 160 * 60 and by 4 pc associated boxes.
Above the desk, on the wall, there are hanging two shelves filled with various of things.
To the right of the desktop and shelves there are a closet. Also made with the same kind of wood as the rest of the furniture except from the bed.
That is what you can find in this room, except my own things that I’ve filled up the floor space with. A large pink suitcase and my beloved bowling bag.
I am sitting with my computer, listening to some random music. Next to me, I have some study books that I have been involved with quite a lot this weekend. I have also refueled up with some coffee that I have in my totally innocent stolen Starbucks cup.
When I was out in the common kitchen that I share with four other female students and were about to boil water, I turned the lamp off so it went completely black. I went towards the window, looked out over the meadows and just enjoyed it.
I, Therese Baudin, a Swedish 20 year old girl is here, right here. In a kitchen that I share with other students, in a city I’ve barely heard of, in a country I barely know anything about. I came here by mere accident. This is something that I haven’t really planned anything for.
I applied to Napier University in Jerez, Spain, in the spring just for fun. Got some paper home, in the mailbox from OUT Studies Abroad. It got that because I went to John Bauergymnasiet and studied IT Media during my high school time. John Bauergymnasiet Abroad has a collaboration with Napier University, which is in Jerez, Spain and Edinburgh, Scotland. I read about an interesting course, taught at school in Spain – Interactive Media Design. It was a little out of a higher level to high school IT media. And furthermore, if you did study IT media at John Bauergymnasiet, you could skip the first year out of four that this course goes over. I, which was still interested in media, decided to send in an application. I had not really any expectations at all. I clicked on “send”, and then it was nothing more to it.
I continued to live my life as job seeker. I had a practical vocational training place between 8am to 5pm. Lived in my own apartment in Östra Ersboda in Umeå. The first of June I moved to another, slightly larger apartment at Mariehem. Changed my practical vocational training place to a miniature golf at Hedlundadungen. Which I enjoyed a lot. I had extremely good working times, almost a little too relaxing. But hey I don’t mind. There I did a little bit of everything. Sat in the kiosk, took care of customers, cleaned the club house, WC and yes .. A bit of mixed stuff. My colleagues were among the funniest I ever met. Incredibly nice and talkative. The days went incredibly quickly.
After my work, I went either to my home, my mom or my then boyfriend. This very day that I think about, I went to my boyfriend after my evening shift that ended at 10pm. When I worked at the evening, I used to sleep from about one-two at the night to ten-eleven in the morning. My phone rang at ten and woke me up. It was someone who spoke English. I was in a little shock. Just woke up, and not at all prepared to either listen or speak English, I probably sounded a little unsure on my tone when I talked. The call lasted for approximately five-ten minutes. When I hang up, I do not really know what everything was about. I thought it had something to do with Napier, but I was rather uncertain. The only thing I knew for certain, was that I had agreed to something. But did I knew what? No …
But it raised some thoughts. When I came to work that day, there was not so much to do. My workmates who had been there that morning had done the most of the work. So I could go and take a walk. I called my sister Maria. I told her that I think I had made it to the university. She became thrilled. But I didn’t. I was not really sure that it was true. I asked her if I had come in, I would then take the chance? I mean … Is it really something I’m ready for? The study, yes I know that I was ready for that. I have wanted to do that since half a year back. But to move abroad, away from this, my friend, family and everytihing … I was ready to take that step? She said that I probably would regret if I did not take this chance. The same chance will never come back. It is now or never. Yes .. It would think about it anyway. But just because I did not know if this was about the university, I put away the thoughts for now. I knew that I would recieve a letter home with more details, from the guy I spoke to. He asked for my home address, so I remember that.
Time passed, and it was August. A letter appeared in my mailbox. It was sent from UCAS. I opened it and read. There it said, among others, the following:
Dear Miss Baudin
Congratulations. This letter confirm your place and any changes agreed at Napier University, Edinburgh for the Interactive Media Design, W281 course. The course starts in September 2008 with a point of entry 2. As you now have confirmed place you can not point to another university or college or use Clearing. The letter acts as final proof of your place for education authorities and banks so it is important that you keep it.
Okay, now I knew what the phone call was about. I had agreed to be transferred from Napier University, Jerez, Spain to Napier University, Edinburgh, Scotland. Now it came up a lot of questions in my head. In the letter, it also said how I would proceed to continue. There was paper that would be sent, I had to do this and I had to do that.
After I had talked to my mom and dad, I decided to do this. I submitted the paper that would be sent away. Went to the CSN and talked with them regarding student loans / grants. Joined a community that UCAS is responsible for, where you can meet students from all across the UK-area.
Now it was a really mess in my head, I tell you. I was confused for a two months’ time. Forgot some papers, was delayed with others. Just because I was late with a certain paper, I had nowhere to live. I didn’t get a student apartment because I was too late submitting the application.
The money from CSN turned up to my bank account at the beginning of September. Approximately 4 hours after the money turned up, all tickets for the trip from Umeå – Edinburgh was booked and paid for. I had bought the train ticket to Gävle for the 23rd of September. Then the train from Gävle to Arlanda on 25th of September and flight ticket from the airport to Edinburgh later the same day. Still without having somewhere to live.
About 10 days before I moved to Edinburgh, I got a message at the community, I joined before. There’s a girl who will do the same course as me, who already live here, and she offered me her guest room that she had. I was really relieved when. There my last trouble disappeared. Now I just had to wait. I had not been nervous at all, so far, and I never did. The only one who was nervous was my nearest and dearest. I was just happy. Time passed by incredibly fast, and suddenly I stood there, at the airport in Edinburgh.
Big, bad, noise and inconvenience.
It was my first impressions I got out of Edinburgh when I came here, the 25th of September 2008.
But now, 44 days after my arrival, it doesn’t feel like that at all. Today I feel that this is my home. It’s not like I am abroad. I have uni to go to every day, have my study to do when I get home again. I go to the local shop and buy milk and bread. Know the names of the streets here near where I live.
This is my life. It was ment to be. Why else would I be here? I knew deep down that housing would resolve itself sooner or later. This chance I got it for a reason.
I stand with one foot on the window board (which is much lower than normal), have my right elbow against my right leg and leaning my head against the palm of the hand. Looking out over the big green space, which is just outside the apartment.
Life as a student is kind of what I though it would be, but still not. I had not expected that I would be 20 year old girl who would live in Edinburgh. Did not expect me to like studying. But I am purely out of love. Regret that I did not take the chance when I was in high school. But I have it now, and it is the best choice I ever made, I think. I’m almost sure that it was a better decision than to begin bowling. Then, you can imagine how much fun I think this is.
Expectations that I had, that is true, is that it is a lot of partying around the city. Does not matter if it is weekend or not. It’s almost more and wilder parties on weekdays than it is at the weekend. It becomes clear next day at uni. You know who has been out partying the day before. Some fall asleep at the first lecture, others can still be a little bit dizzy. While some do not turn up at all.
I’m not much of the type that is going out so often. I decided before I moved here that I would become a person that really takes the studies seriously and do my best. I think I have succeeded with it relatively good. Of course, it could have been better, but it could be definitely a lot worse.
I am proud to be Therese Baudin today. I really take hold of my own life now. I feel like I start to get the life back on track again. It is fun to study. Fun to learn new things, but also be able to use previous knowledge. I have met wonderful friends that I will always remain.
Today, I am a much happier person than I was for 3 months ago. I can sit here in my room all alone, be bubbling with happiness without reason. I can sit at a lecture and just smile. Smile because I love the life. Smile because … Yes, just because it’s wonderful.
Ofcourse, I loved a part of my life that I had back in Sweden. But thanks to this chance that I got, and took advantage of, I will return back in Sweden in June 2011 as a whole new person. It will be a happier Therese. You will still recognize me, but you will discover that I appreciate the life a lot more. That is how it feels now, anyway. Hope I feel the same then.
It remains to be seen!