What’s up Saints,
The long awaited time has come and I am officially on the Durham University campus. First, I’d like to introduce myself. My name is Seitu Smith II, I am a Post-graduate student at Durham University, studying Education and playing American football. Through this blog I hope to enlighten you guys and girls on my experience coming from the United States to Durham.
The interest for me began in October of 2015 when I first reached out to the Durham University recruiter, Luke Lobo. At that time I was still in my undergraduate and they were not yet recruiting. Consequently, the real journey began in March when the conversation reconvened and I applied for the postgraduate scholarship. Working with Luke I was able to submit all my necessary items and receive the scholarships. The next part was not as fun; the waiting game. By that I mean I was offered the scholarship, in hopes that’d I’d be admitted into the school.
There I was waiting from May this summer trying to figure out backup options in case the decision didn’t go in my favor. When July came around and there was no decision, panic started to settle in. I’ve turned down career opportunities already and couldn’t backtrack because; other workers already took those offers. July ____ the offer letter came in my email! It was a sigh of relief, I now have a plan for the year ahead and it’s the one that I really wanted. However, the process didn’t stop there. Next was to apply for my visa. The fingerprints, paperwork, Immigration surcharge, basically a busy 2 weeks before coming here. In the time before leaving the family and I had a small barbeque and party with my cousins. I said my goodbyes and the next day I was taking a flight across the pond. 14 hours of travel later, I am here in Durham.

Fast forward 3 weeks to now, Right now, having been here around two weeks with no class just preseason practices for football, I’ve been able to explore the campus and meet a lot of people. Of course, the guys on my American football team are great; I spend a majority of everyday with them. Collectively, we’d agree amongst the Americans at least, that although Durham is the prettiest site we’ve ever seen, being old men on campus walking the hills here are rough. (Calves are looking great though) Just like I said though it’s the most awe-seeing city that I’ve ever been to. The cobblestone roads, brick buildings, the narrow paths that you realize weren’t built for cars to move about but rather horse and carriages. Even the river that flows around the whole city, as sort of a barrier, are all things that remind me where I’m at right now is older than my entire country. There’s a lot to look forward to at the moment, but I’m going to just take it one day at a time and enjoy the experience!

Talk to you guys next week,
Seitu