I've been getting used to a new British environment for a whole month: cultural, behavioral, academic, so I can cover new moments for myself - maybe this will be useful for you.
I'm studying in my college. As I said before, here we choose the subjects that we will teach and pass on exams: I have mathematics (Further Maths), computer science, economics and psychology. Here in order and in more detail:
1) Psychology. Oh, this is the most difficult subject for me. I am glad that we have finally got a stable qualified teacher - Bellatrix from Colombia, but has been working in Cambridge for many, many years. Probably, an important role is played by the fact that I do not perceive psychology as a full-fledged science (and now do not even think of persuading me), it is not tolerant enough (for example, in relation to sexual minorities), etc. We write a lot, and here are our difficulties: your letter and the work as a whole should be grammatically correct, accurate, fit the academic style and - attention! - adhere to the official regulations. That is, in fact, your point of view is of no interest to anyone: you must rely on modern results of research and experiments (as for me, in psychology it is generally an inaccurate indicator), and personal subjective reasoning can significantly reduce your scores. In general, now I understood why many people called psychology one of the most difficult subjects of A-level.
2) Mathematics. Well, everything is much simpler here: studying mathematics in England is really many times easier than in Russia. We started with lessons on constructing graphs, quadratic equations and linear inequalities, now we have moved to the most basic and simple laws of integration and differentiation, the simplest logarithms and the derivative. Teachers say that Russian students in principle always show themselves well on this subject - but it must be remembered that the methodology itself is completely different, I'm being scolded for "irrational" methods of solution. Otherwise, the system of equations is recorded, do not use discriminant, but you can use calculators without limit! I was killed at all - local students even 2 to 5 degrees can not independently erect. My teacher in Russia would have destroyed it right! In general, in England, when studying mathematics, much more attention is paid to the theory: each regularity is explained in the most detailed way, formulas are derived, graphs and drawings are constructed. For me it is basically a good repetition, but for less developed students (the same Asians, and we have them as a group) it is generally useful.
3) The economy. The subject, without questions, is complex, but is taught very smoothly, so I'm sure that it is possible to "pull" every student on it. I really like our teacher (although not all share my opinion): he always answers all questions, gives detailed, detailed answers, very clear and objective. It can be difficult to understand Ian because of his emphasis, but I treat this as an additional language practice.
4) Informatics. Surprisingly, this here has become my favorite subject! It is taught linearly: we started with programming (very simple and non-stressful). I am absolutely delighted with Mr. Lord, our teacher! He graduated from Cambridge, but his appearance is a mixture of insomnia and a severe hangover. At the same time he is very friendly: he will always laugh at a good joke and joke himself, answer in detail every question - in short, it is a pleasure to work with him.
In general, already from the second week the learning process began to accelerate quickly: the information is more and more, the lessons are becoming more complicated, the homework is getting bigger.
While we were immersed in studies , Came the news that a university fair is being held in London, and turnout is compulsory for us. If you want, you can come with the group, and then stay in London, take a walk and return yourself. I seized the opportunity: London during my first trip I was not strong enough, and I wanted to walk, rest and take pictures.
On October 8 (Saturday) we plunged into the bus and for an hour and a half reached the capital - the fair was held in one of the hotels. Despite the large number of represented universities - about 50 - my priority Cambridge was not, but there were Manchester and Oxford, which I also considered. By the way, you should know that submitting documents to both Oxford and Cambridge is not the best idea: they track such applications and do not treat them very well. In general, for an hour I got at the exhibition all the information I wanted - and then I met my friend Stas, also Perm, who came to Moscow from Moscow.
We decided to leave lunch (good food in general is my passion), and decided to go to one of the most popular pizzerias in London - Franco Manca - which was literally half an hour's walk away. The popularity of the institution immediately expressed itself in the queue for the entrance: thank God, we stood only about 15 minutes, and after we were brought an order, we finally forgave this turn. Pizza is just unparalleled! Delicate thin dough, fresh ingredients, thick tomato sauce ... At the same time, a large standard pizza costs only 7 pounds, which is quite inexpensive for London. We even decided to boo and add different meat ingredients, paying 2 pounds.
The remaining hours of Saturday in London we decided to devote to shopping: I needed a coat for a long time, and where to buy it, how not in the capital of England? The process was not easy and took a lot of time (largely due to Asian crowds, besieging absolutely any stores). Prices here are either surprisingly democratic, or surprisingly sky-high. So, in one of the boutiques, Stas seized on a steep leather jacket, having read on the price tag that it costs only 80 pounds - but a strict store employee approached specified that its price is 2000 pounds. And he said it so arrogantly, severely, ironically ...
By God, he was sure that there was no place for such plebeians in his sacred store and was glad to get rid of us so quickly. Coats for me we found literally in the last minute: it fits perfectly, very nice to the touch and the right color. They turned a worthy Russian maneuver: in the store that day there were discounts and gifts when buying from 100, 200 and 300 pounds, so Stas bought himself another sweater, we repulsed the purchases together and won almost 50 pounds! A substantial amount, it was nice.
After the shops we zasobiralsya home and moved towards the station Kings Cross. At first we went down to the metro, but the price of the ticket to the goal (4.5 pounds, almost 400 rubles) was not pleased, and we spent an hour and a half on the road to the station. It was about 8 pm. I will say that for that year, while I was not in England, the tickets went up very noticeably. Earlier we paid 16 pounds in both directions (Cambridge-London and back), now the ticket to one side only costs 16.50 pounds. Expensive, alas, but here you can not get there on foot, we did not have a way out.
So, a new school week has begun - a 4 week training session for new students consists of progress tests that should show your level of knowledge and the first modest successes. So, my achievements:
I must say that although not all test results pleased, but they clearly showed where I am lagging behind and where it is necessary to deal more persistently, what mistakes to pay special attention to - and for that, thanks.
The next week was generally flat. After 5 weeks of study, we were waited for Half-term - something like a week-long autumn vacation: there are no lessons, but the homework was stopped.
What does not concern learning ... my Asian neighbor has moved, and God, how glad I am! I just could not help but smile for a few days! I have already spoken about his intolerant and vile norms of behavior (as a neighbor he is just Satan), but this could have been tolerated if his impassable stupidity. Well, how can you come to England for serious training and almost do not know English? His pronunciation and suggestions are a nightmare for any teacher, in order to understand him, one has to be at least a psychic. I tried to help him with the same mathematics, in the evenings I painted graphics for him - but to no avail. If a person at the age of 17 with a completed secondary education does not know how to draw the simplest parabola (the same one as y = x ^ 2), then I pass. Well, all in the past, he finally moved out - moved to his own in the hostel. Two weeks I live without a neighbor (what a buzz!), And then promised to send a student from Indonesia. I hope it will be better - in principle about Indonesian college students I have quite good memories.
In general, do not think that I am a racist or some kind of super-intolerant, but during my studies in England, my attitude towards Chinese citizens has finally deteriorated. Firstly, very few of them speak English: no, I understand that more than 2 billion people speak Chinese, but this does not mean that other languages should be ignored? In this regard, all Slavic children (Russia and the CIS) cause real pride: almost everyone speaks the language well - someone is better, someone is worse, but they explain themselves decently, express their thoughts clearly, the pronunciation corrects. The Chinese are very noisy, sluggish, pile up constantly, laugh and loudly yell at their brethren - in short, uncultured it all.
From personal thoughts I can say that for a month and a half of college I realized that England is a completely different country than Russia. I can not say that I am disappointed: here are still excellent living conditions, sympathetic and kind people, age-old traditions - but it's not easy to live here who came with a completely different mentality. Perhaps I'm so lonely, because I have not found good friends here yet? Very high prices for just about everything - but for the sake of justice we note that the quality of everything is very high. With my host, Veronica, I now have a great relationship, we are attached to each other (especially after the departure of a Chinese neighbor, haha). Study eats 90% of my time - the rest of the time I chat with friends from Russia or play the guitar.
Yes, far from home is not easy - but this is not the reason to give up the dream that can be realized in England. I miss the house, family, friends, there is not enough person to whom you can say anything at any time ... But from this only you are waiting for the arrival home, when you can hug all your relatives and friends - and then again to go for your dream to Cambridge.