Seasonal Greetings to you all!
By the end of the first semester, here comes the most important British holiday- Christmas Day! After three months of study, it is finally time to relax a bit.
For it is my very first Christmas abroad, I’ve decided to make it special, thus earlier in October, I have registered with the organisation called HOST UK and submitted my Christmas visit application. In the past four days, I stayed in a local family and had my most authentic and unforgettable Christmas experience.
HOST UK is a non-profitable organisation aiming to help international students who are studying in the UK to learn more about British culture. Students who are enrolled in the UK universities can register and apply for a one day/weekend visit or one day/whole festive visit. Applicants usually pay a small amount of application fee and students from well-known universities even are free to apply! (In my case as a student of Surrey, I didn’t pay anything apart from my own travel expense)
HOST UK 是一个非盈利组织，旨在帮助在英国学习的国际学生了解更多的英国文化。在英国大学就读的学生可以注册并申请一天/周末访问或一天/整个节日访问。申请者通常只需支付少量的申请费，知名大学的学生甚至可以免费申请！（作为萨里的学生，除了旅行途中的交通费用外，我什么也没付）
My host is a 76 years old gentleman called Michael and he has been hosting international students since 2002, he had his degrees from the University of Cambridge and the University of Edinburgh. He is well-organised and very very knowledgeable in many fields. He had over a hundred Chinese visitors in the past two decades, which in result he had so many Chinese presents and decorations in his house and he knew China so well!
The other student who came with me to spend Christmas with Michael is Shiv from India who’s doing his Master degree in Education at UCL, Shiv is 9 years older than me and had a very well-understanding of education and policies.
Michael has arranged so many interesting events that I would never expect to see here in the UK, at least not in London or any other big cities. And did I mention that he’s a brilliant cook and quite an excellent wine taster? During the four-day visit, he has cooked many local cuisines and desserts we have had the most traditional Christmas and I myself first time discovered that the British dishes can be that tasty, for that, I appreciate Michael’s hospitalities!
We had quite a lot of driving during every day’s visit, Michael’s driving skill is marvellous, we went to several coastal villages that around the local area and one of the most amazing National Park in there.
It has been a wonderful Christmas and I did learn so much about British culture, history, literature and other aspects from Michael and Shiv.
This is my very first authentic Christmas and I shall remember it forever.