As my program is coming to a close, I wanted to take a minute to reflect on how my study abroad experience has helped me learn. First of all, I am a pretty cautious individual, and studying abroad alone was highly daunting. When I first arrived, I was shaking from the fear of not knowing anyone, and possibly getting lost in a city I did not know. That leads me to the first thing I learned. I slowly began to enjoy exploring Exeter as I began to recognize landmarks. I started not to get scared of getting lost. I was even finding new places all the way up to just walking around yesterday. I found a street I had never seen in the whole five months I have been here! This experience helped me with my fear of getting lost. I hope to always remember that there is more to explore of a every city. There are always new places to discover. Something else I learned is to be less afraid of talking to people. I have found three people that I hope to remain friends with for the rest of my life, and I would have never have found them if I did not go out on a limb and decide to talk to them despite not being required by rules of polite society. This makes me curious as to just how many great friendships I am missing out on because I did not take the initiative to ask someone how they are doing. I think the courses I took here also helped me broaden my understanding of various types of people. I chose to study some theology courses, which brought me in contact with Jews, Christians, Muslims, Atheists, and even a pagan. I asked them my questions, and in return I gained a broader perspective of different world views. I think this experience helped me grow, and I hope to apply these new ideas in my life back home. I strongly urge anyone considering study abroad to take the plunge and go for it!
Madison (A now experienced world traveler)