Since I am abroad I feel like this is a subject which I should definitely talk about!
I’m thoroughly enjoining my time spent in Newcastle, England, whether it be exploring, shopping, eating, or going out. I can assure you that unless you’ve LIVED abroad before, there are 100 reasons why you should think about applying to a program!
I’ll give you the top 5 reasons and you can feel free to ask for more if need be:
1. Meeting new people … who don’t speak English. Believe it or not, there are people in the world who don’t speak English (I just experienced this phenomenon this weekend in Paris! Boy was it hard with the language barrier – I ended up doing a lot of pointing and acting).
2. Living in a new city. Every city is different, whether it has a ‘twin’ or not, no two cities are the same. They all have their different mix of neighborhoods, which in turn have their own unique vibes with their cafes or bars and what not.
3. … and then EXPLORING that new city. Every city has a lot to offer, you just have to find what you’re looking for! Don’t hold back by only going to the same restaurants and clubs when you go out. My friend told me she has a list of all the restaurants in town and is crossing them off one-by-one!
4. Discovering yourself. As cheesy as this sounds (which I know it does, because I was reluctant just typing it) it really is true. You get to know yourself better through your experiences abroad. Whether you’re like me and realize that you aren’t as patient as you once thought you were or you discover that you really need to stick to an itinerary on your trips, all of the exploring and traveling you do leads to self-discoveries at the same time.
5. Jumping head first into the unknown. So far, living abroad has taught me that you can plan all you want, but until you actually live in a new city, you really don’t know it. I came here expecting something totally different, and I don’t know how to describe what I was expecting, but this blows it out of the water.
I’ve ended up meeting friends I can’t really imagine living without now. I’ve had to deal with lack of Internet and phone malfunctions and it really makes you appreciate everything a little bit more. Obviously, lack of Internet isn’t going to happen for everyone (or maybe it will?) but you will all be faced with challenges that you have to overcome, whether it’s the social awkwardness of making new friends in the first weeks or learning the Metro system in London. You’ll encounter endless learning experiences in such a short time. I can’t believe I only have a month and a half left since it seems like we only got to Newcastle three weeks ago!
If you couldn’t tell, I am all for you sophomores putting in your applications for studying abroad. Get your application done, so you don’t have to make up statuses about ‘studying abroad’ in Baltimore, cause that isn’t cool … Don’t make excuses about it either, ’cause you are talking to the queen right here. I knew it would be expensive and that it might be hard to find a job here, but I kicked butt all summer, working 65-70 hours a week to save money for tuition and going abroad. It really does pay off and these memories are unforgettable. <3
In other abroad news, I just got back from Paris! I had an amazing time at the Eiffel Tower, Versailles, Notre Dame, Arc de Triomphe, Moulin Rouge, Louvre, and eating croissants like no tomorrow (I start my carb-free diet tomorrow [ugh, maybe?]).