Why am I writing this? Because a) it might be helpful for prospective Londoners and b) it gives 
me another chance to rave about my time in London. It’s true that everyone has different 
experiences studying abroad; even in my own circle, I’ve heard of varying experiences. You 
don’t have to love it. You don’t even have to do it. But, if you are considering doing it, and you 
want to hear from someone who loved it, you’re in the right place. 

My experience studying abroad technically began before I landed in London. It began when I 
realized that I, a first-generation, low-income student from a tiny town in Wisconsin, would get to 
finally live out my any-country-but-America fantasy. When you grow up watching your friends 
go on vacations to places like Europe and Latin America, you start to dream up your own travels,
or at least I did. The key word there is “dream.” Going abroad was something I had always wanted to
do, but I was not sure when or how I could. I’m very glad I made it happen. 

I think it’s interesting to see what people value when they study abroad: some people flock to 
museums or concerts or restaurants; others try to meet all the people they can. Meanwhile, some
simply try to survive. I existed somewhere in between. I’m sure to some, it looked like I did very
little, but to me, it felt like I climbed the mountain of the world. Going to a café became its very 
own adventure. Who would I see? What would I hear? Hopping on the tube to see a play was 
thrilling. And to anyone who is familiar with the tube, I can imagine you’re questioning my 
sanity. Thrilling? But yes. Yes, it was. 

Something that I didn’t expect, or even think about, when applying was the role that the British 
professors would play in my study abroad experience. I suppose I was so focused on the prospect
of Britain that I forgot about the actual British. The value of openness and exploration solidified 
for me after class one evening. A nearly superficial exchange with a professor turned into a life-changing conversation. This led to more conversations, and I left London with a connection 
that surpassed many of the other rewarding experiences of studying abroad. 
I could keep going, but I think this would end up being a bit too sappy and long. I hope 
if you are looking for a sign to study abroad that this can be that sign — especially if 
you haven’t been abroad before. The world is so big, and so are we. We might as well explore it! 

[Also, I know that “Unvaluable” is not a word. Alas.]