One and a half suitcases and nowhere to go

So, I leave for the UK in nine days.

I am guaranteed university housing as a non EU postgraduate student, but the housing department at the university is pleading an “overwhelming demand” for university housing and has decided that they will not tell me (or any international postgraduates) our housing assignment until we arrive. The email they sent was deliciously vague, a characteristic that might be British or might be University administration, or it might be both. I suppose I will find out.

“I write further to your housing application for a place in a University of Sussex managed residence for the forthcoming academic year, 2011/12. We look forward to welcoming you to Sussex and providing you with details of your accommodation when you arrive.”

Fun. So, I have no idea how much my weekly rent will be – anywhere from 80 GBP to 130 GBP a week. I have no idea if I will have housemates or not. If I am in a dorm, a studio, or a house. I do not have an address to ship the one box of my stuff to.
I do know that I will be on a six hour over night flight to the UK, then get on a bus packed with other international students (with my limit of one “large” suitcase and one “small” bag1), then have to roll into Sussex and deal with housing and tenancy agreements on little sleep.

I am thus far not impressed with the organization of the Sussex administration or their consideration of international students. When I got the lovely email quoted above it was on a day where I was also dealing with doctors offices and mobile phone companies. I was pretty much ready to burn the world and reorganize it from the ground up.

Despite being irritated with Sussex, I am not actually that worried. I think, a year ago, I would have been. Not having A Place to Stay would have stressed me out more than anything. India pretty much broke me of that. I have a flight. I have guaranteed lodging and the pluck/ingenuity/articulate anger to deal with things if that “guarantee” is broken. I’d much rather think about other things. Like planning a trip to Greece over Christmas with my boyfriend. Or reading relaxing trash while I still can. Or doing as much yoga as I can possibly fit into my unemployed vagrant schedule just because I can. As far as I am concerned, I have nine more days until I have to get serious about my life again.
And I plan on enjoying these nine days.

1 I called to get more information on the sizes of the baggage, saying that I was planning on bringing one checked bag and one carry on sized bag and my purse. She said that “should be” fine. They do not actually appear to have published weights or sizes. Yay relativity!

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2 Responses to One and a half suitcases and nowhere to go

  1. John Sander says:

    I think you will find that the luggage allowance for the coach is clearly stated on the booking site:-
    “Luggage allowance is one large suitcase/bag or two medium sized suitcases (weighing up to 20kg each) in the hold, plus one small piece of hand luggage in the coach. This luggage allowance is strict and if you arrive with more than the above allowance we cannot guarantee your place on the coach and you may have to make your own way to Brighton.”

    Our housing office have been overwhelmed this year and to some extent let down the team but I hope that you have your housing allocation and details now?

    • Amy says:

      John –
      Thank you for your response. I don’t consider “large” or “medium” to be very clear – they’re relative terms (I generally travel light – what I consider a large bag I’ve seen someone consider small). One member of the Sussex team basically said (after this post) they didn’t care about the size as long as it didn’t weigh more than 40 kg total. Which made more sense, to me anyway.
      Anyway. Thanks again for everything. 🙂

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