Before I actually began packing for my study abroad trip, I felt as though I had really been packing mentally for months. I thought about which particular articles of clothing I would need during the rainy English winter, whether I would need anything fancy, and specific supplies that I would need in my dorm room.
Having completed a study semester abroad in England, I was given many travel opportunities during my time there. Overall, I was able to visit 16 different countries over the course of a few months. I was able to travel both in a group and with just one friend, but I also took a few trips alone. I consider myself a pretty independent person, however whether or not you are should not affect your ability to travel solo. Travelling in a group has its perks, but I believe travelling alone almost has more.
After spending the past few months living abroad, I have learned a lot about the world in ways I never could have within a classroom. Foreign exchange rates, politics, food and cultural holidays are all examples of concepts that are better understood once experienced in a different culture. Furthermore, having had a myriad of travel opportunities, I can officially call myself an expert in booking travel and flying, as well as sleeping on overnight buses and trains; my passport is evidence of this.
While adjusting to life in England, there were definitely some cultural differences to get used to, even as a Canadian student. Now, having lived in the UK for a few months, I am finally beginning to adjust to living in a ‘flat’, going up ‘lifts’, wearing ‘jumpers’, and eating ‘chips’ instead of fries. However, I was pretty confused when my English friends discussed going to the ‘chemists’ (apparently a pharmacy).
It was only a couple months ago that I packed my entire life into a suitcase, leaving Canada and everyone that I knew to begin my study abroad trip. Finally, I am beginning to get used to converting currencies in my head at the grocery store and having nearly everyone I talk to comment on my “Canadian accent.” School in England is very different from what I was expecting, but it is an experience to see how digital media courses are taught in a different country.