I Learned: I learned how to travel. It may seem silly, but when you are on your own in a new city or cities without your parents, it takes trial and error to learn how to make the most of the short time you have in any one location. Each city has its own unique offerings and I enjoyed learning how to dive into the attractions, arts, and especially cuisine of each one I visited.
I also learned how to manage work and fun. Although this has been the challenge of my whole college career, studying abroad escalated this. I knew I only had four months to cram as much of London and the rest of Europe into my Facebook albums, but sometimes I had to stop and remember I was still “studying” abroad. I learned when it was time for a new adventure in London and when I had to still write that paper.
Comparing/Contrasting My Work Experiences: My office in London was a lot more relaxed than an office in America. They were more lenient about lunch breaks and the office was a lot more social. They often side-tracked and talked about outside work during the work day. My current office still goes out for happy hour, but we save social interactions for outside work hours. I have not decided if the “European way” is more or less productive, but it is definitely different.
Hardest Part: Never being settled. Although I loved my dorm and friends, I was constantly packing, unpacking, traveling and doing something new. I would not change that if I did the program again, but it was hard sometimes never having a week or two of doing “nothing.”
Best Part: London was and always will be the best part of my study abroad in London. I loved traveling to new cities, but I absolutely fell in love with London while I was there. The sheer number of attractions there are to take advantage, paired with the culture and history of the city make it the best part of my study abroad. I still feel that I need to go back just to appreciate the city itself again.