‘Blogging from Abroad’ No. 2 with Emily Pachta

Feb 16, 2023
Emily Pachta studies abroad at Newman University Birmingham.

Sophomore Emily Pachta of Wichita is a few weeks into her study abroad experience at Newman University’s sister school in Birmingham, England, and shared a day in the life blog.

Follow along with Pachta’s blog posts on the Newman Today news site as she explores the British university also named for St. John Henry Newman, as well as Birmingham and other cities and sites in England and Europe.

Click here to read blog No. 1

In Emily’s words

Hey guys! I am back and ready to give you more details on my trip across the pond. On Thursday, Feb. 9, I documented my day, and here is a recap.

Cardio unit on the treadmill

7 a.m.

I started the day bright and early before my classes to work out at the gym. There is a gym on campus; those who live on campus get a free membership, and all students get a discounted membership. The gym has a cardio area (which is mainly where I hang out), a weight room, a basketball court and a squash court. I think there is more but I haven’t explored that far yet. 

10 a.m.

After working out and getting ready, I had to get to class. My first class was a lecture for global perspectives in psychology so I got my laptop and notebook ready. This lecture is two hours so we had a nice break in between. For this lecture, we learned about the self and how we each view ourselves. I really enjoy this class because we have lots of discussions.

Cafe on campus in Birmingham, England.

11 a.m.

We had our break for lecture and I needed a little pick me up so I took a quick walk to one of the cafes in the main lobby. They sell Starbucks coffee so I obviously got an iced latte but they also sell pastries, sandwiches, cereal and much more. There are two cafes on campus and both sell the same things. This is definitely one of my favorite parts of Birmingham Newman, and I hope Wichita Newman will get one soon! I have a punch card so after nine drinks I get one free (I’m already very close to my first free drink)!

Emily holds a Starbucks drink (Courtesy photo)
Emily holds a Starbucks drink (Courtesy photo)
A view of The Sanctuary cafeteria.


We got out of class (I am not a fan of two-hour lectures) and my classmates and I went to the cafeteria to get lunch. The Sanctuary (cafeteria) has multiple hot options, the other Starbucks, sandwich, and salad options! Sometimes there is too much to choose from. I got a mini pizza and a small salad which only cost around £5 or $6. Something odd though — people dip their pizza in ketchup here. I stand by ranch and pizza but not ketchup and pizza. It is connected to the Senses Lounge (the bar on campus) so you can go up and play pool, or other arcade games. The bar is not open during the day though if that is something you were wondering. 

A wider view of the cafeteria.
A wider view of The Sanctuary cafeteria. (Courtesy photo)
Classroom with computers, a main T.V. screen, and desks.

1 p.m.

My classmates and I headed back to our next class. Sort of like problem sessions for science classes at Wichita Newman, we have seminars with a small group of students from the lecture to go over specific topics and assignments. So the class was global perspectives in psychology seminar. We went over our assignment that is due March 3 and is worth 50% of our grade. Seminars normally last an hour.

2 p.m.

Normally I don’t have class at 2 p.m. on Thursday, but my Monday seminar was rescheduled. This was a research methods in psychology seminar and we once again went over the major assignment for the class. The grading works a bit differently (I still don’t totally understand so I can go over it when I understand better) but most of the time, you’ll have two assignments due around the end of the semester that are worth 100% of your grade. You don’t normally have small quizzes or homework assignments. 

Snacks Emily bought after class.

3 p.m.

Once class was (finally) over, I stopped by the convenience store that is just down the street. I needed to grab some snacks and drinks for a puzzle party I was hosting later that night. A puzzle party sounds riveting, I know, and to be honest, it was. I (legally) bought wine, which is always a weird feeling as I am 19 and of course, got the cheapest bottles with the cutest labels. I always stop a moment and debate whether or not I should get a Kinder Surprise (a chocolate egg that has a toy inside) because they are banned in the U.S., but I did not come home with one this time. 

A view of the front of the store Emily stopped by after class for snacks. (Courtesy photo)
A view of the front of the store Emily stopped by after class for snacks. (Courtesy photo)
Kinder Surprise candy stocked the shelves of the store.

4 p.m.

On my way back from the store, my sister called to talk about our Easter break plans. We get the first two weeks of April off of school as our spring/ Easter break so my sister, brother-in-law and brother are coming up. We are planning on exploring Amsterdam and Germany, and I am quite excited. I will probably have them bring me a whole suitcase of snacks and then take back a bunch of the stuff I bought that I don’t need (I have bought so many things). On my way back, I passed the St. John Henry Newman statue that sits in the middle of the courtyard. It is a nice reminder of home and the namesake of both our schools. 

St. John Henry Newman statue at the Newman University in Birmingham.

4:30 p.m.

I got back to my dorm and unloaded all my belongings. I started to clean up and get ready for the night. I live in Cofton Hall and I really like my little dorm room. It is very similar to Beata Hall’s setup as I have four possible roommates and we share a kitchen and living room. The major differences include the elevator in the lobby, the ensuite bathroom (I have my own shower and toilet so I can leave my toiletries wherever I want ha!), and the stove and oven in the kitchen. So I guess it is closer to Fugate Hall but any year student can live in Cofton hall. 

International students got together and ordered pizza.

5:30 p.m.

The international students came over and we ordered pizza. I posted my pizza on my Snapchat story titled “Ello gov’n” (obviously) and Daniel Cubias, my 360 Five partner, and friend, commented that it looked like Papa John’s in Wichita, Kansas. He clearly doesn’t know what he is talking about. We devoured the pizza and got hard to work on the puzzles. Spoiler alert: None of the puzzles were finished by the end of the night but all of the pizzas were. 

Emily and friends collaborated on a puzzle before parting ways for the evening.

9 p.m.

After a long day,, we all decided to part ways. I finished up some classwork that I was putting off all day. Then, I was finally ready to wind down and go to bed. Of course, I cuddle up with Pigeon (my frog that I made at Build-A-Bear in Chicago on a trip with the Sloppy Joe Improv Troupe) and called it a day. 

Thank you so much for coming along with me for the day. I am writing this on Feb. 13, the day after the Superbowl. Here the Superbowl started at 11:30 p.m. so I was up and down all night checking the scores and all I can say is go Rihanna (and the Chiefs guess).

Connect with Emily

If you have any questions or ideas for what you’d like to see next, you can email me directly at [email protected]. Until next time, I will talk to you guys later. Bye!

Emily Pachta

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Study abroad opportunities at Newman University

Students are encouraged to participate in Newman University’s overseas study and exchange programs, which contribute to individual and intercultural development.