Norwich, situated about two and a half hours northeast of London, was the first city in England to be decorated with the title of UNESCO City of Literature. My new home, the University of East Anglia (UEA), is one of the literary hubs of the city and its literature and creative writing departments are held in high esteem internationally. This was the foremost reason that UEA was my first choice for global exchange.
I feel the bubbly excitement and sense of exploration that always rises when moving to a new place, the kind where even the local supermarket makes a fascinating afternoon excursion. Last night I wandered through the cobbled streets in the centre of town, past grand churches and family shopfronts in what can only be described as a travellers’ daze: content with aimlessly wandering, feeling the city through a heightened sensorial palette.
I am no stranger to the UK; I was born in London and often travel back for family visits. So this intrepid enthusiasm is also somewhat tinged with a sense of nostalgia and the comfort of feeling that family are not far away. Throughout the exchange experience I look forward to juggling both my Australian and British senses of identity. I will represent my country and have the opportunity to meet students from all over the world at UEA, while also feeling the warmth of returning home.