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.
A huge part of studying abroad is these travel opportunities, and being able to experience different parts of the world with other students. Upon arrival, I made an “English bucket list” with one of my Australian friends, and over the course of the semester we worked to achieve everything on the list, to experience as much English culture as we could in four months. Now, we have successfully visited Buckingham Palace, rode a red double decker bus, visited Oxford, and had high tea, to name a few.
English high tea with my Australian friend Tom
Now that my time in England is coming to an end and I am preparing to head home, it is incredible to think about all that I have experienced over the past few months. There is nothing quite like moving to a new country on your own, not knowing anybody, but just jumping in and being ready to experience whatever happens. Personally, I will truly miss being able to hop onto a plane and visit a new country every week.
However, although this experience cannot last forever, I have taken away many influential lessons from my time here. If anything, studying abroad has inspired me to travel and see even more of the world. Most importantly, although my time in England is up, I will forever have many pictures and memories with my study abroad friends, and people to visit all around the world.
By: Camille James, Vancouver Island University. Winner of the 2016 Stories from Abroad: British Columbia Study Abroad Scholarship.