Cultural Experience | London

Oh the places you will go

I cannot imagine the things I still have to learn and the person I will become during Study Abroad

I have wanted to study abroad since my Junior year of high school. Although I did not go very far for college (about 15 minutes away from home) I knew one day I wanted to leave and explore the world. To be honest, my freshman and beginning of sophomore year were filled with so much I nearly forgot about my dream to see the world. Through my short time in college I had lost friends, made best friends, lost my Nana, lost my home in Hurricane Sandy, joined a sorority, moved back home, held positions within my sorority that were very close to my heart, and came to many realizations the hard way. I realized that I had to expand myself, expand my horizons. In December of sophomore year I decided that I would apply for the London Fall 2014 study abroad program. I was accepted and knew that this would be a change for the better.

All summer I worked hard to save up for this trip and mentally prepared myself for the big change that was going to come. I had never really left home before and I was about to leave for 3 and a half months for another country. It didn’t hit me until I landed in London. I was homesick for the first three days, but I soon found myself in the swing of things. I made friends with people I never thought I would. All of my friends are all so different and unique, you would never put this group of people together in a million years-and somehow it just works. I realized that there are so many other perspectives out there. Sure, I knew that people have other opinions and thoughts; but here I was able to learn and respect others perspectives even if they were different from mine. This world is so big and filled with so many other people, and I did not fully comprehend this until I came here. I have made friends from Italy, Latvia, Germany, and more countries that I had never even heard of. I was able to hear what people from around the world think of America and Americans, good or bad. I am able to respect their opinions, and learn more about their culture and try to see the world through their eyes.

Although it has only been about a month since I landed, I feel that I have learned so much. Not only have I learned, but I have changed for the better. My advisor told us that we would come back different-and I cannot imagine the things I still have to learn and the person I will become. At this point in my experience I encourage every college student who can to study abroad. It has been such an eye opening experience so far- from camping out in a forrest in Germany to standing at the highest point in Capri- one never knows the places they will go, the people they will meet, and the things they will see until they give themselves the chance.

Samantha Barnwell

Monmouth University | 1 story

Journalism major and sister of Delta Phi Epsilon sorority at Monmouth University! "It's a big world out there"

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