Well, it’s been a week since I arrived in America after nearly four months in London. I figured I’d post my final blog entry now instead of the day I got back because (1) Full disclosure: I slept for the better part of Friday, December 16, and (2) I wanted to take some time to let the feeling of being home (and being away from London) actually sink in.
So now that I’m home, all I want is to go back to London! Don’t get me wrong, seeing family and friends and sleeping in my own bed is absolutely wonderful, but the pace of life seems so slow here in the suburbs compared to the bustling atmosphere of London. I suppose that’s a symptom of culture shock that I’ll get over soon enough, but I can’t help but miss city life.
Not only do I miss having some amazing places being a walk or Tube ride away, but I really miss the people I met in London. The staff at Faraday House and my professors made the experience so meaningful and valuable. I also met so many new friends, some SU students and some from other colleges, that made this semester truly unforgettable.
London helped to broaden my global perspective as a student, and after living there, I am aware of the issues that Europe faces, as well as the developments that are underway to advance Great Britain and Europe as a whole. My COM class focused on comparisons between British and American media, and as I’ve consumed news at home, I now ask myself “How would The Guardian or The Telegraph cover this story?”
I also consider myself (surprisingly) lucky to have studied in London during the eurozone crisis, as I witnessed how the media, both in and outside of the UK, handled the potential collapse of the euro. Thanks to my European Union class, I was able to better understand the issue and the implications it has not only on Europe, but on the U.S. as well.
I packed a lot into this semester and traveled to places that I never thought I would get to see (i.e. Istanbul–thanks again, Charine!). My advice to other students who want to study abroad: travel as much as you can, even if it’s just around the UK, and plan ahead! At the start of the semester, plan out which school-sponsored trips you’d like to participate in, note which of your weekends are free for travel, and start booking! It’s ridiculous how quickly airfare, hotel room rates, etc. skyrocket, so book early to get the best deal.
For those students who are on the fence about whether or not they want to study abroad, trust me when I say that it really is the opportunity of a lifetime. This semester has been the best time of my life and I would do it again in a heartbeat.
Thanks to everyone who read my blog and followed me on this adventure!