Why, you might ask, would a person who is happy at Lawrence want to leave and study abroad for a term? I ask myself that question a lot, as I was perfectly happy with my life at Lawrence, and even Downer food was growing on me. So why would I leave and move to London for a term?Well that’s just it – a term. I’ll be back before I know it. While I’m here, I’m living it up. And time is flying by too fast. Yes, while Westminster Abbey, Big Ben, and Abbey Road, among many other London landmarks and countless (FREE) museums have made the trip exciting, there is more to studying abroad than being a tourist. So many other aspects make studying abroad rock my socks off, and it’s not necessarily the studying…
In the past month I’ve made some discoveries, things that I can’t capture on a digital camera and send back home.
I love learning to be British. I’m not just studying here for a term – I’m becoming a Londoner. It’s a hard transition to make, but, all of its complexities and challenges aside, it’s fun, too. Maybe it’s because I’m new at this, but riding the tube to anywhere in the city, though it may be dirty, smelly, and hot, has its own charms.
I love (and hate) when it rains. It’s London rain: a few times a day the sky just opens up, and in seconds the street is freckled with umbrellas. Minutes later, dry again. There’s something poetic about it that it doesn’t bother you so much, until your feet are soaked and your fingers are icy.
I love blowing my life savings on the time of my life: exploring Europe, seeing shows and concerts, and Europeanizing my wardrobe. Suddenly, Conkey’s doesn’t seem nearly as bad of a rip-off as it once did, compared to prices in British pounds.
I love that I feel confident, in a place I have no business being confident. I feel adult walking around the city by myself with an umbrella, a newspaper, my iPod, and a purpose.
That’s right, you get CREDIT for this. Well, this and taking three classes.
I’d rather not dwell on the challenges I face, and there are challenges. But seriously, studying abroad is totally worth giving up a term in Wisconsin, no matter where you go. Lawrence gives you this opportunity, and it’s a shame not to jump on it, even if it means missing Thanksgiving dinner, the World Series, the first presidential election you can vote in (and a campus visit by John Kerry), and everything else that happens in three months’ time. ((GO RED SOX!!))