Waking up in my own bedroom in Bangor, I anticipate the drawing back of my window curtain for in the distance are the peaks of Snowdonia National Park. Every morning is different but always more beautiful. I make a fresh cup of tea or coffee, hop into my shower, and then walk about seven minutes to the Main Arts building for class. Also called "Hogwarts", Main Arts sits on display for all of Bangor and draws students in with it's gothic-cathedral looking facade, huge library, computer facilities, and terrace cafe overlooking downtown.
After only two lecutres and a break in between for lunch and an email check, I go back to my building, maybe catch some of my flatmates, and then hit the pavement for an afternoon run to the Isle of Anglesey which sits across the Menai Strait. Hoping to see Kate Middleton at the Anglsey grocery store, Waitrose, I stop in for a moment.
Cooking some chicken, rice, and vegetables in the kitchen, my flat mates remind me that I can make the last inter-hall soccer game on the tennis courts just outside our building after my program class which starts at 6:30 p.m.
After another very enjoyable class with our amazing director, Tecwyn Vaughn Jones, I join the last soccer match of the night.
I try and hit the sack early because the next day is my Outdoor Pursuits class and we are going surfing, or sea level traversing. I also need rest for the upcoming long weekend visit with our program to Ireland where we will be visiting Dublin, Galway, and renting bikes on the Aran Islands for a day! I'm bummed I'll be missing Penrallt Baptist Church's last free student dinner at Faith Cafe but I'm so thankful for their welcoming arms to short term students at Bangor. They have become more than a community, but family and friends. I have found my faith more in that place than they will ever fully know.
Life in Bangor is not only good, it's great. I can't believe how much culture can be experienced in such a seemingly remote country. Just today I was sitting in between two students in the computer lab, one who had her screen in Arabic, the other who was talking to her mother in French on facebook. I was kicking myself for not taking the offered Welsh intensive course! My Spanish speaking skills have came in handy last weekend when I visited Spain with some friends but I still should have taken the opportunity our program offered at the start of the semester.
Nonetheless, my experience at Bangor has changed my life from the inside out. From people and places, to travelling every other weekend with our American program (paid for by Central College), and going on personal adventures in between to Spain, France, Scotland, and Austria, my time here will live on still when I return to the U.S.A. where I can relay what I have seen, heard, and felt in various ways through studying abroad in Wales.