My name is Madison Grode and I am a second-year student at USF. Growing up, I have always wanted to travel the world and learn about cultures other than my own. What better way to learn about a new culture than to be completely immersed? I will be spending this next term being immersed in British culture at the University of Exeter. I have already been here a week and I am already enjoying my time here. I was not sure about the best way to document my time abroad until USF approached me with the Provost Ralph Wilcox USF-Exeter Scholarship, and asked that I might contribute to the USF Going Places blog. As a communications major, I look forward to communicating my experiences with people back home through this blog. This scholarship is helping me with the amazing opportunity to learn how people in Britain communicate on not only with their words, but with their gestures and facial expressions as well. There are so many things I wish to accomplish while here. When at home, I can read about the world, but now I am actually out exploring it, and I hope to make the most of this opportunity by not only growing academically, but also personally and professionally. Professionally, I hope studying abroad will help me learn to communicate with people who have grown and lived in a different environment than me, thus broadening my ability to work with various backgrounds. There are many different ways I wish to grow personally, and I hope to grow a little bit more each week. This week, I have just been trying to deal with change. I have never been someone who liked change and moving to a different country is one of the biggest changes I have ever dealt with. Instead of worrying about what a big change this is, I have been trying to take this one step at a time and dealing with issues as they come up.
Despite my fear of change, I am excited for the semester ahead of me.