I’m back in the good ole USA. I guess I need to start calling it that instead of “the states”. And I suppose it is finally time to look back over my time in England. (I’ve put it off for long enough.)
I’ll say this, it gave me some amazing experiences. When else can you see the ruins of Pompeii, tour Westminster Abbey, and visit Dublin, all within a couple of weeks? When else is the pronunciation of every other word a matter important enough to discuss in depth and heatedly. (And I was in England!) Basil, aluminum, tomato, even leisure and scone!
I’ll tell you something else, we may speak the same language, but it is not a coincidence that there is an ocean between us. A few days before I left, I commented to my flatmate that I found the level of personal information people were willing to put up on facebook slightly disturbing. She replied jubilantly, asserting that “the British reserve” had rubbed off on me. While I’m not sure if this case, I’d like to think that these past 5 months helped me grow more than I would have been able to do at Cornell.
I’m going to go out on a limb and say that these were not the best 5 months of my life. I was dealing with some rough personal events and being away from home exacerbated things. But on the other hand, being abroad let me reflect on things quietly, without being disturbed by other opinions, values, and ideals. So I will say that I would do it again, without hesitation, if I had to do things over. Just because it wasn’t the best 5 months of my life, doesn’t mean it wasn’t amazing and worthwhile.
Which is why I’d like to conclude with the suggestion that if you are considering going abroad, definitely look into it seriously. You’d be surprised at how the costs come out, so don’t let finances get in your way. Studying abroad is definitely not for everyone, but if you have that desire, don’t let anything hold you back. I would only say carefully think about where you want to go. Because although you’ll be in a foreign country, a city is a city is a city, just as the countryside is the countryside is the countryside. Also, don’t feel discouraged about language barriers, as that’s what your stay is for. (If I had to choose a different place to go abroad I would probably choose France so that I could challenge myself at that other level. Imagine coming back fluent!)
OK, enough of that inspirational, motivational jazz. That’s all for now. Cheers!