CHELTENHAM GOLD CUP WEEK!

Right…. This is the week where Cheltenham is turned upside down! For better or for worst. People from all over the UK travel all the way to our beloved Chelt to witness and participate in one of the biggest event of the year! I was working at one of the busiest pubs last year and it was one hell of an experience! I definitely encourage you to take up on a part time job if you want to earn some extra cash as this is the best time to do so!

I got to meet people from different parts of the UK like Ireland and Liverpool for example, and witness them getting absolutely off their face with the bevvies which honestly was the best part of the job, the people haha! The amount of tips I got on a daily basis was honestly incredible. And for all the single ladies out there, I highly recommend you take your girlfriends out and throw something fancy on as there is no better moment for you to meet your knight in shining… suit?! * wink *

The streets are filled with people dressed up exceptionally dapper so it is definitely a sight not to be missed if you know what I mean!

This festival involves betting with over 600 million pounds! The first day is many peoples favorite. With over three massive races for punters to sink their teeth into. The final day features the Gold Cup and this is usually the biggest out of them all! Everyone usually hits the night clubs/pubs at the end of the day and places are usually open until the crack of dawn so yeah, it does get pretty crazy!

So guys, my advice to you is get your mates out because I cannot comprehend how amazing the atmosphere gets so it is something you’ll need to experience firsthand! Its unlike your typical night out in Cheltenham for sure. And if you do end up going out…. Do stay safe!

Till then my lovelies

Cass xx.

 

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Easter break – Gloucester Quays

Hello everyone! I’ve been very busy with my studies, but I finally have something to write about: the Easter break!

I went on a trip to London on Friday(14th) to meet some of my Brazilians friends that were there, I came back on the same day so I got really tired, but it was very fun! I spent the rest of the weekend in my bed trying to recover from the long-walks and tiredness from London. But on Sunday I found out about an ‘Easter Market’ in Gloucester Quays and I decided to go.

It’s very easy to get to Gloucester Quays by bus if you live in Cheltenham, and the Easter Market is definitely worth it (there are some really cool events there throughout the year as well).

In the Easter Market you can find a great variety of food, e.g. homemade cheese, jam, pies, chips, sweets, cakes, etc. There are also people selling plants, crafts, jewellery, and much more.

I’ve tried some delicious food in there, and they were very cheap! I started with some churros but sadly no photos were taken so I’m going to show you some of the foods that I tried there:

0 tais pulled pork

This is pulled pork with chips, and some onion salad on the top. It was one of the most delicious food that I’ve tried here in England, it was 5 pounds for that.

Tais 🙂

Easter

With Easter approaching most courses will have a couple of assignments to hand in and quite a bit of coursework to do. After race week, mentioned in my previous post, things in Cheltenham go back to normal. You’ll start seeing Easter bunnies and chocolate eggs everywhere because these are part of the Easter tradition in the UK.

Before the Easter break, especially for those, who like me, are living abroad, I recommend having sorted out housing for the next academic year. The reason for this is because after the break there’s only a couple of months left and if anything does go wrong or needs sorting out it’s better to have time left over than rushing it. Another benefit of getting it sorted out is after Easter most courses will be preparing for exams, with accommodation sorted it’s one less thing to stress about.

In March at uni you’ll also have to choose your module choices for the following year, it’s a good idea to get in touch with your personal tutor, again sooner rather than later, to discuss your career path and what subjects to take in order to get there.

It’s also a good time to start organising and thinking about internships and/or placements if this is applicable to you. Some courses they are obligatory in others they are optional.

March is also the month where most students should re-apply for their tuition loan through the British Government.

With any of the above the best place to ask for help again is your student Helpzone, with one based at each campus they are easily approached and very helpful.

Carla.

The Races

March 13-17th marks a special couple of days for our town of Cheltenham, because its race week! Before entering the madness yesterday, I really had no idea what to expect, but after placing bets, meeting new people, and cheering on horses with names like “What’s Happening”, which is exactly what I was thinking for the majority of the day, I am so glad I got to experience race week firsthand. I was told this week gets crazy, and I have to admit, walking through town this week I’ve seen a lot more people carrying their shoes than usual, but I had no idea how big of an event this really is!

Before you get through the doors, or even close to the venue, you can tell how race week is able to transform the town. Places that don’t serve breakfast- are serving breakfast, you get asked for directions at least once a day, men are in 4 piece suits, women are wearing bright coloured hats, and everyone is smiling (the percentage of smiles after losing bets is significantly lower though). I decided I was going to place a couple of bets too, just to make the races even more exciting to watch. For a newbie race-goer like myself, I decided to put my money down on the horses that were favourited that day, so even though I wouldn’t really be making a profit, I could at least come away with a win! Though I thought my plan was foolproof, I didn’t take into account horse racing is really all about luck, and I ended up losing each race that I bet on.

Although I didn’t bring home any winnings, I’m taking it home as a victory in my books because of the outfits, the people, and the overall atmosphere. If you get the chance to be in Cheltenham for this week of utter madness, I have nothing but good things to say. The Cheltenham races were an event I’m so glad I didn’t miss, and something I know I’ll never forget!

Emi

 

Something NEW I tried in Cheltenham

They say, ‘Time flies so fast’ and it is true…

I am currently doing my final year and I have only just noticed that 6 months have already passed and I am very close to finishing my degree. This means that in another 6 months’ time, I will be going home and it means less time to add new things to my bank of UK experience.

While I am trying to seek new things, a friend of mine has invited me to try a salsa dance class. I said, ‘No’ for two months, with excuses like ‘I know nothing about it’, ‘I won’t be able to do it well’, ‘People already know how to dance, so they will laugh at me’ and many others. However, after two months of constant pressure from my salsa-dancing peers, I decided to try it.  And you know what? I enjoyed it a lot. I am in love with salsa now! I still cannot do it well but that does not matter to me because I am enjoying it. I have done three classes now and I can’t wait to go to more classes.

They have Beginner classes every Friday at Copa, which is in Cheltenham and making it easy to access for Park/ FCH/ Hardwick students, Monday’s class is at Bishop’s Cleeve and Tuesday’s at Gloucester. Instructors and other learners are very friendly and supportive and they start teaching everything slowly like ABC, so it is very easy and enjoyable to learn. Attending these classes give, you the opportunity to make new friends and it allows you to escape the atmosphere of just study and work. I love it because I am learning a new thing and at the same time, I am enjoying it and making new friends, it’s like killing three birds with one stone, not even two birds. I would recommend it if you are looking for something new and cool!

Htet Htet

Racecourse Week – Such a busy week!

Many of you might know about the horse racing festival at the racecourse if you have browsed about Cheltenham before making the decision to choose the University of Gloucestershire. It is such a popular and prestigious event where everyone visits Cheltenham and enjoys the races, and the festive vibe. You will see the High Street packed with well dressed ‘Ladies’ and ‘Gentlemen’ from all over the United Kingdom excited for the races, which is quite an experience for someone who has seen the ordinary days of Cheltenham for a long time.

For international students who want to take part, there are many chances to be in the racecourse. Since it is a huge festival, the Cheltenham Racecourse need many people to work for them in many aspects of the business such as the catering, security, and entertainment and so on. Many recruitment agencies will both come to the university and recruit students at fairs, or they will announce vacancies online.

I worked at the racecourse last year as a waitress with my friends and had lots of fun. The great thing is that you not only earn money but also get to see the races, watch the people enjoying the races, and make many new friends as many university students from nearby cities such as Bristol, Coventry, Birmingham, and Oxford come to work. It might be a bit tiring to work for four consecutive days (you can work 2 or 3 days as well, optional) but it is totally worth it. It was such a great experience to add to my bank of UK experiences since I cannot have this anywhere else.

Htet Htet

Walkin’ on the Wild Side

University is one of those times that can be the unhealthiest years a young person can experience. Stress, hurt, and, disappointment. Yet these things are what develop us as people. This being said it’s also one of the wildest times of our young adult life. For example; I have four different projects due, a weekly radio show to do, and the stress of being in a different country to name just a few.

But I’ve also been able to do some incredible things. With the university I’ve been able to meet amazing people on the sports teams, create my own club night at one of the student bars, and travel with some of my favourite people.

Plus there are some absolutely amazing events coming up this week. First and formally the Cheltenham Gold Cup will be featured this week with thousands upon thousands of people flooding our fair town with the promise of sports. The whole town will be painted red and we get to be a part of this world-renowned fiesta. It’s simply one not to be missed.

Also on the way for yours truly is a trip called Tour, in which each of the sports teams select an exotic destination to travel out to and play the sport they love! I’ll be joining the boarders club as we head to the French Alps for a massive outdoor ski & snowboard festival. It’s cheap as dirt and sounds like the opportunity of a lifetime.

While exhaustion, illness, or stress may be in store while you have your stay at university you can also expect excitement, opportunity, and just plain fun to be waiting for you as well. Should be one hell of a ride and I just can’t wait.

Till next time,

Ty Javos

Romeo + Juliet

I have always had a curiosity about Romeo and Juliet, as I was never able to fully understand how so many things could go wrong at once. When I went to the opera of the play, I had decided to go with an open mind to see if I would be able to finally catch a missing piece of the story.

The opera was part of the Metropolitan Opera 2016/17 season in the Cineworld cinema in Cheltenham. I was fascinated by how passionate the couple, Diana Damrau and Vittorio Grigolo, chosen to play the protagonists seem to be. In the middle of that tragic story, I started to question myself that same frustrated question about how that all happened.

I then realised that maybe the question is so simple that not everyone thought of asking it. What if Shakespeare intended, not only to demonstrate how love can burn our souls but, to criticise the power of the church? With that said, allow me to create a theory:

Romeo and Juliet was written in the year of 1595-6 in Verona, Italy. At the time, the church was the most powerful institution, although the families Montague and Capulet are shown to be more influential.

As a Friar, it does not seem right to lie to the families to help a juvenile love, especially when Juliet is promised to marry another. It could easily start a war between the two families, or create a distress between the Capulets and the church.

However, he does that anyways. He tells Juliet that he and Romeo will be waiting for her to wake up so they can be together. He never did, although he could have told Romeo easily.

Romeo and Juliet were the only main heirs of the two richest families, and after Juliet’s cousin death, there was no other person to have access to the popular surname or their inheritance. As a matter of fact, the church could take the families’ possessions when they pass away.

If Romeo and Juliet had achieved permission to love each other, their son would become a powerful man, and eventually a possible threat to the religious institution.

At first, when I came with this theory, I did not want to believe it was a possibility as It is difficult to find a villain when all characters’ intentions seem so clear, and the only question is why life is unfair. However, Shakespeare has a subtle way to create questions and give us the illusion of understanding his stories. It may be one of the reasons why his writings are still fascinating.

The UK, your window to the world

Given the merit of UK’s unbeatable location, studying here not only offers you opportunities to explore a single nation-state but also provides you singular experience to travel around the European countries on a budget.

During the New Year break, I visited Iceland, the so-called “Land of Fire and Ice.” Even though I’ve learned about this country from geography textbooks, the astonishing opening scene (shot in Iceland) of Prometheus, a 2012 science-fiction film directed by English director & producer Ridley Scott, is the reason for my visit.

 

 

The country is of two extremes, with glaciers in proximity to volcanic craters. The crystal clear glacier lagoon, dreamy diamond beach, fascinating geyser eruption, mesmerising northern lights, all in all, a must experience for everyone. The natural landscapes are scenic and surreal, while the human-made landscape of Harpa elaborates the beauty and power of geometry.

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If you would like to visit a place like Iceland, travelling from Asia could be a painstaking and an extremely expensive experience that takes you an enormous amount of time and money. But if you start the journey from Cheltenham, you can benefit from the borough’s proximity to Bristol Airport and enjoy direct flights offered by EasyJet, a low-cost British airline which operates direct services to most European countries at affordable prices.

Wouldn’t it be amazing to save you both time and money, and opening your eyes through travelling when you are still young at heart?

Iceland is a place I’ve been craving to go, and studying in the UK has offered me this precious opportunity to turn my idea into reality. Do you have any dream destination in mind? Do you have any aspiration for the future like studying abroad or starting a new chapter in life? Let’s stay positive, work hard, and make it happen.

A special visit and Christmas’ break.

Missing my family has been my biggest challenge since I arrived here. But I was lucky that while I go to university in England, my boyfriend goes to university in Portugal, which has been very positive for us since we are both going through the same experiences as international students and we get to see each other more often than if he was in Brazil for his studies.

Two weeks ago, he surprised me by coming to Cheltenham without telling me anything about it, it was a shock for me and I couldn’t be happier. He stayed here for 5 days and he was amused at Cheltenham’s beauty.

This is us enjoying the coldest day here in Cheltenham:

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On the other hand, it is almost Christmas, and not everyone is going home to stay with their family, just like me. If that’s the case for you too, then I suggest you to keep yourself entertained with your friends or classmates so you don’t feel alone. There are a lot of international students going through the same situation as you, that’s why you can always find someone to be friends with.

A good option to have fun with your friends in the Christmas’ break is to cook together. I’ve always loved baking and I decided to bake some cookies with my friend Camila, from Colombia.

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I hope you all have a lovely Christmas and a happy new year!