Nowadays we life in a world with so many technological options which allow us to make the journey from Poland to England just in 2 hours. Today the sentence: ‘this is impossible’ is treated as a challenge to prove that everything is possible. It is a time for ambitious people to cross borders that previously seemed impassable. I would like to say that international students are these ambitious people, who cross borders every day. In this case, I don’t mean that we only cross the borders of our countries but also the borders of our capabilities.
Here we share with you opinions of our international students in the Department of Archaeology who took part in this project:
As an international student I really often thought that the fact that English is not my first language would be for me a huge problem. To be honest, during my first months at York it was a problem for me, but now I know that the problem was just in my head. This project helped me to realise that language is not such a big obstacle when we are creative enough. In some cases it is good to try to express ourselves even if sometimes we sound a bit silly, since making mistakes is the best way to learn. It was fantastic for me to see how much progress I made during this module.
Of course, this module helped me not just to develop knowledge about heritage, and to improve my English, but also gave me a quick look on a British tradition. In this case food. But let’s start at the beginning. It was a beautiful day, birds were chirping, the sun was shining. I was sitting and thinking about prosaic things, and then one of my colleagues said the magic sentence: ‘I want fish and chips’. Happiness and delight appeared on my colleagues’ faces who unanimously agreed: we are going to get fish and chips. Yet, there are two kinds of people. Those who love Oreos and those one who hate them. I think that the situation with fish is quite similar. There are people who love fish and others who hate it. Unfortunately, in these two cases, I’m a person who hates Oreos as well as fish. But after long consideration, a thought appeared in my mind: wait, you are in England, in place where fish and chips are a tradition, you have to try it. So resigned to my fate, I went to the bar. While I was waiting to make my order, on my left side I saw the magic text which said: ‘CHICKEN NUGGETS FOR £1.7’ and then I knew that for me fish and chips are a thing of the past.
I’m also an international student on this course. Taking part in the project has brought me confidence. While I’m still not a professional archaeologist, I’m content with what I’m doing right now. At the beginning of the year, when people asked me what I’m studying at university and heard my answer, they would always be surprised at first, because many Chinese students like choosing business as their degree. Then, their next reaction would be like: WOW! That’s amazing! And did you dig something out? I was quite uncertain about my choice of doing heritage, because I do not excavate and I felt like maybe I was not doing the right thing, and maybe I should follow other people’s expectations.
However, as we got the chance to participate in the Breary Banks project, I realised that archaeology is not just about excavation, but it’s also the matter of displaying the past through different media. This realization changed my view on the relationship between archaeology and heritage. I remember that it was quite hard in the beginning. I was very lost during the lecture because of the speed and the accent of the lecturer. I found it interesting that when we were deciding in class whether or not to have a narrator with a very strong northern accent, my colleagues were discussing who has the most northern accent in the class, but actually, I feel like they all speak in exactly the same way, with very strong British accents. I couldn’t tell any difference!
Written by Eliza and Tongtong