I've been in Durham for a few weeks now. I'm having a great time - the first few weeks has been a lot of meeting new people (and struggling to remember all their names), going out to town with them to a number of bars and clubs (the main differences in the party scene: going out in the middle of the week, no house parties - all bars and clubs), and trying to figure out the academic system. There are lots of nice folks on my floor of the dorm (which has a distinct scent to it). We've had a couple nights in playing poker and watching films. It's a bit like my freshman year, but with my own room in a foreign country.
I'm still getting my dose of California/American culture by watching Cal games on Saturdays and playing basketball. I'm actually playing for my college team, but as one of my teammates said, 'college' and 'basketball' both mean something different over here [Colleges are basically the individual dorm facilities around the decentralized campus. That means saying you're on a college team isn't the same as being on a college team in the US - I'm not playing D-1 ball here. It's more like intramurals. And the game is played differently here (read: not as well). haha.]
Here are some photos from around town (I'll have more of these of better quality later this year):
Crew teams row on the river that runs through town. There's an athletic facility on the right bank here with soccer fields:
The view from my college on the hill:
Here are a few photos with the other folks from Grey College
The Army Bop-
I've also been planning for my time off. During winter break, I'll be going to Italy, Switzerland, and France. Spring: Germany and Scandinavia, possibly the Benelux countries. Summer when school is out: Spain and Portugal (including the San Fermin festival in Pamplona). If you're planning on being in the same place at the same time, send me an email!