International Students Tea Party – December 14th, 2016

It was the last academic week of 2016 and you could sense a faint air of end-of-term fatigue in the SCR. Fortunately a selection of minced pies, chocolate brownies, coffee and tea was prepared to reward those who showed up for the second International Students tea party of this Michaelmas term.


Once everyone had taken their seat the discussion started with a few classic questions: What were your impressions of England? Durham? Chad’s? What will we tell our parents when we get home? How we do we feel now that term has (almost) ended? There wasn’t much enthusiasm to answer these, which may reflect either a reluctance to leave or an eagerness to return home. Once some shared their thoughts and feelings, it became evident that this term has been very successful. Friendliness and ease of transition into Chad’s frequently came up. An interesting topic that briefly surfaced was whether we as international students took notice of the quintessentially English beat-around-the-bush culture. In particular the issue that English people readily apologise. Although a few were aware of it, it wasn’t considered a hindrance (sorry, excuse me for bringing it up).

The obvious topic that was thrown into the group was what we were looking forward to most at home. An interesting answer amongst some was the opportunity to speak our mother-tongue. I know I am.  Although Chad’s has treated us well,  some were quite eager to return to a familiar environment at home as a break.

We concluded with a brief recap of our thoughts on 2016. I think the consensus was that 2016 was probably not one of the best years we’ve seen in recent times. Brexit and Trump (amongst others) illustrate how the world seems to prefer intranationalism in favour of internationalism these days. Wars, diseases, and this year’s extensive obituary makes it a year to forget, and very much makes 2017 a year to look forward to.

That being said, we look forward to the next get-together in 2017.