Hometown: Towanda, Kansas
Where I studied abroad: London, England
Major: Psychology, Pre-Law
Favorite Foreign Food: Homeade Swiss Fondue
Favorite city/site visited while abroad: Nice, France
My next trip is going to be to: Brighton, England
When I arrived in the UK, I was luckily able to avoid any major culture shock and adjust pretty quickly. While it is a lot different from Manhattan, Kansas, it is not so different from somewhere like Manhattan, New York. Aside from learning to say ‘cheers’ instead of ‘thanks,’ standing in the queue instead of standing in line and a few other small differences, there was no language barrier to overcome. Although I will never get tired of hearing people talk with their British accents. Driving on the left side of the road and keeping to the right if you wanted to survive on the escalator took some time to get used to, but so far so good!
Specifically at my university, I was surprised to notice that the number of people actually from the United Kingdom was the minority. Most of the people at my school are from other parts of Europe, although they are mostly all here for their whole college career, not just on exchange. Having people from so many different countries to interact with has been one of my favorite parts of study abroad. Making friends in class and joining the volleyball team has allowed me to meet exchange students from all over the States and to make friends from all over the world. The friendships I’ve made this semester will stay with me forever and will give me countless excuses to travel the world whenever possible.
The best part of my study abroad experience, though, is being so close to the rest of Europe and the amazingly cheap flight prices. My first big trip was to Bratislava, Slovakia and Vienna, Austria. A friend from the volleyball team took me to experience his home town, which included a Slovakian masquerade. The following weekend, I went to Grenoble, France, with some flat mates to put my French to use and explore the city that hosted the Olympics in 1968. An exchange student takeover in Amsterdam allowed the hundreds of study abroad students in the UK to have a great weekend in the Netherlands. Taking a three week long Easter Break, I adventured to Florence and Rome in Italy, Nice and Sergy in France, Geneva and Lausanne in Switzerland, Budapest in Hungary and Brussels and Antwerp in Belgium.
As I enter the last month of my time in the Queen’s Country, it amazes me how quickly it’s gone by. The days have absolutely flown away, but it also feels like I’ve been here long enough to call it home. There is no better feeling than not needing your phone or a map to navigate the Tube anymore, although it’s just as I’m getting ready to leave. Studying abroad has opened me up to so many incredible new experiences and allowed me to make lasting friendships and connections all over the world. I know I will be back to the country of fish & chips, Harry Potter and rich history very soon. Although I am looking forward to being back in Manhappiness, London will always be a place that I can call home.
On one of our nights in Budapest, my friends and I grabbed some snacks and headed to the river. We sat on the edge for the night, enjoying great conversation and this great view.
I've always been a huge Harry Potter fan and being able to see a lot of the filming locations this semester has been amazing. After spending over 3 hours in Harry Potter studios, I was wish I could hop on the train myself.
While you are here, make the most of your time, because even though you don’t think it would, the time goes by so fast.