From Lima, Peru to Warwick: Homesickness? Cultural Shock?
I always wanted to be independent, to feel what is freedom. Back at home, in Peru, things are very different. People don’t use to study abroad. Peruvian universities last for five years, and you live at home. I never expected applying and getting spring weeks, being part of many societies or writing a blog.
I had always dreamt about this, but when I had it, things were very different. During my first weeks at Warwick, I did not miss home at all. I was so delighted with the campus and my new life. However, everything is not always perfect, and when problems came, I saw myself crying and begging for being at home. I did not have my mum to support me with those magical words or putting my favourite song. I did not have my dad who would tell me his past work experiences of rejections. I did not have my friends who already know exactly how I am and how to deal with my problems. I felt so alone, and I was not. My best friend called me. My mum too and we watched a movie on Netflix Party.
Technology makes things easier. I did not realize how far I was from home because I have a daily call with my parents. One day, I was using Google maps, and I saw for the first time the distance between Warwick and Lima, UK and Peru, an ocean.
Homesickness is hard. Sometimes I still feel alone, but a walk with some friends is always good to overcome these moments! At least for me, when I talked with people, everything seems better. I remember I am not alone.On the other hand, I believe I adapted easily to UK culture, to Warwick culture. Sometimes in Peru, my friends did not understand my ideas at all, my desire to always being busy or my different hobbies but here, I have found people that are like me, that love language, museums, reading, going out but also that are responsible enough to study with.
Once I heard a metaphor about “Hogwarts”. Yes, I am a Harry Potter Fan. “Hogwarts” means a place you have always been part of, the place that when you arrive, you feel you are at home. That is Warwick for me. Here, there are many vegans, feminism, readers, runners… economists also!However, sometimes it is hard to remember how to act in different situations. I am still struggling to say “Hi” here. In my country, we use to give a kiss on the cheek. It would look so awkward here. That is why I prefer to wait for how the others act: if they are hugging me, shaking hands (which is weird for me, at least when I am meeting people of my age) or say “Hi”. Personally speaking, I prefer to give hugs!
I think people are more polite in the UK. Mostly, they will smile at you. I am always smiling too. Also, I didn’t you use to have dinner at home. I just had some yoghurt, a sandwich, ice cream or a snack, but people use to have a nice dinner here. I almost use to that now!
Of course, I miss my country, my home, my culture. However, I love being here and meeting people from all over the world. Learning about new cultures is fantastic.Also, I find it funny that no one guesses where I come from. I always hear: “You are the first Peruvian I know”. Hope to see more Peruvians in Warwick soon.