An American to Mother England

England! My England! can the surging sea
That lies between us tear my heart from thee?

Today I received notice that I have been accepted for my college’s off-campus program in England for Spring of 2010. This was something I was anticipating and part of my reason for starting this blog — in addition to my desperate attempts to get published, I’ll probably be keeping something of a journal of my experiences. In keeping with the theme of my site the series, I have decided, will be called An American to Mother England, after the Lovecraft poem linked above. If you do not bother reading the whole thing, I don’t blame you. Lovecraft was a pretty terrible poet most of the time, and I picked the title for this because I mostly think HPL’s Anglophilia was absolutely hilarious.

Anyway, I suppose this exercise might prove enlightening. Students keep journals when they’re staying overseas pretty much all the time, like my friend Ross who is in the lead-up to a year in Japan, but I figure England is boring and unpopular enough that I can be my own unique self. Being in the UK also means I will have less of the “OMG GUYZ THIS FOREIGN COUNTRY IS SO GODDAMN WACKY” that stands a serious chance of contaminating a Japan blog. At most I will probably end up with “OMG GUYZ THIS COUNTRY IS SO GODDAMN RUDE TO AMERICANS” which at this point probably applies to all of Europe.

So here is, I suppose, the first official entry in AtME: I have to scrounge up the time and money to obtain a passport and a deposit. It’s not due until September, thankfully. Also, in the papers I received, there is mention of obtaining a Visa. I’ve never traveled outside of the country before, but I am under the impression that the Visa is a new development for this program. Back in the good old days no one had to have Visas, but the UK has apparently tightened up some immigration laws and as a consequence people without Visas can’t hold jobs.

This means that students in my college’s England program couldn’t have the staple job placement/exposure portion. I hear this was circumvented by calling the job placement something other than job placement, but that fell through recently and I’m not sure what the students currently there are up to. The last I talked with a friend in the program she said something about having to pick out a random person on the street and shadowing them to see what the life of a normal Londoner is like. While that seems wildly unlikely, I also think it is a good way to become embroiled in a Guy Ritchie movie, so I am torn between wanting to believe her and calling bullshit.

More on this as it develops. Oh, and the rejection counter now stands at a healthy 18.

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