Returning from the Year Abroad

It’s been a busy start to the final year, but it’s so nice to be back in Bristol and to see friends again after the year abroad. This week is reading week and I think it’s the first reading week that I’ve been in the library by 10:30am every day! I have an essay due in next week for a unit called “African Narratives of Migration”. It’s a really interesting course looking at African literature with themes of journeys, exile and the world’s African diaspora. It seems that, so far this year, there’s been a recurring theme of Africa in my work. In my other optional unit I’m exploring films by French and Maghrebi (north African) directors. Similarly, the themes are of migration, crossing borders and journeys to and from Africa and Europe, which feel very topical at the present time.

A great thing about studying at Bristol is that there are always so many events going on around the university. I have recently been to several complimentary talks hosted by student societies, the anthropology department and individual members of Bristol staff. One was a panel discussion held for Black History Month which questioned our curriculum, our perspectives and the notion of history concerning the black British community. Another talk discussed the impact of migration on the people who are left behind, focusing on Morocco. There were two or three more talks that were less relevant to my course choices but still very eye-opening and a refreshing and thought-provoking way of spending an afternoon (and a good excuse to not do any work but still feel productive!).

Away from my studies, I’ve been going to and making quite a few dinners and have also been enjoying the Bristol pub quiz scene… It seems that all the finalists have aged significantly over their years abroad… Gone are the days of clubbing at Motion; now it’s a few pints before an early night. After this first deadline I think that will change. This is the most heavily weighted year (grade-wise) and so once the first assignments are over, I think we’ll all get into the swing of it.

– Alba


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