There are many reasons why I’m glad to be home and why I appreciate this country with all of its quirks. I missed my family, joking with friends, eating home cooked food that was prepared to my order, and sleeping in my bed. The things I’ll miss from the U.K. are less sentimental: the London Underground, the numerous markets with fresh, hot food, the sushi place called Itsu, and of course, the accents! But these aren’t good enough reasons to work hard all year to attend a study abroad trip.
Besides the USF classes, what made this trip phenomenal was the independence and connections. When you’re thrown into a new environment without friends from home, you will be tested mentally and physically- even if you speak the language of the foreign country. As you’re allowed to make your own decisions, you realize what you value and what you’re truly interested in. In your free time, you get to the explore art, history, or science the city has to offer. If you’re like me, you could simply talk to the natives and get a sense of the social and political environment during that time.
I’ll never forget the interviews we did for Migrations to London, or the random British acquaintances we met while eating sourdough pizza near the dorm. Those connections were some of the most thought provoking experiences I had in London and can’t be replicated in the states. Beyond the castles, the pubs, and the glamour of the city, this study abroad trip is about people. It’s one thing to Skype or watch Netflix documentaries, but it’s another to see someone’s facial expressions and mannerisms when they talk about the love or discontent they have with their city, country, or general quality of life. We get to make plenty of connections at USF through the GCP program. But these connections abroad are unique and teach us about the world issues that statistics could never tell, as well as the role we play in making the world full of more globull citizens!