My Semester in England
To try to condense the experience of studying abroad into anything short of a novel seems pretty impossible, but here goes….
On January 3rd of 2010, I left for a semester abroad in Chester, England. Needless to say, during the days leading up to it, I was pretty clueless and terrified. But once I got there (after the initial travel mess – find me someday and I’ll tell you the huge long story), I immediately felt like it was the right place for me and I wasn’t sure I ever wanted to come back to WI. The entire experience was filled with highs and lows, but I came back feeling accomplished, extremely happy with the time spent in England, and with tons of new American and foreign friends. It was the best 6 months of my life by far. My roommate (also American – from Kentucky) and I instantly clicked and quickly became close friends with the English people in our dorm. The school, University of Chester, was gorgeous, lot bigger than anything I was used to and was constantly busy with student events. The town itself was an old Roman city surrounded with old Roman walls and beautiful gardens. Chester is also known for its shopping and features rows of two-level stores called the “Chester Rows.”
Some of my favorite memories from the trip were: traveling to other countries, meeting and hanging out with people from all over the world, lots of dancing!, shopping, figuring out how the money works, making mistakes in English since I apparently “speak American, not English,” seeing the Queen at the Chester Race Course, eating tons of scones and drinking tons of tea, walking around and seeing buildings built thousands of years ago, having to take trains everywhere, and never knowing which direction a car was going to turn or exactly how to use a pedestrian cross walk. There are so many more amazing memories, but overall, I loved it all and would go again if I had the chance. Anyone who is interested in study abroad should take the opportunity to do it, as cliché as it sounds… It might be the hardest things you do, but it will also be the best, it’s definitely life changing!