Hey guys! I can’t believe I’ve been in England for 3 months already, it still feels like I just got here last week. Today I wanted to tell you guys about my reasons for choosing the University of Reading and study abroad in general.
While I wasn’t actually born in Mississippi, I’ve lived there in the same county since I was a mere four months old. I’ve always loved to travel and see new places, but there’s not much to see around my hometown, and travelling can be a bit difficult because the United States is so massive and public transportation is less than stellar, not to mention expensive. Another aspect of living in one place your whole life is you don’t get to experience a culture other than your own. I love to learn how people in other countries go about their daily lives, how they celebrate holidays, how their education systems differ from my own. The only culture I’ve ever known is the South, but I wanted firsthand experience with a society other than my own.
The biggest reason I chose the University of Reading is its proximity to London. I mean, only a half hour train ride and I’m in one of the most populated cities in Europe? It’s a dream come true to be able to decide one morning on a whim that I want to head into the city, whether to see one of the many museums (you know I can’t resist a good museum), do some shopping, or spend some time in one of the many parks.
Another giant perk of living so close to London is the many, many airports and bus stations. London is my door to the rest of Europe and transportation is inexpensive. I’ve just returned from a two-week long vacation where I visited five different cities in two different countries where I had the time of my life with friends that I would have never met if it weren’t for study abroad. One of the coolest things I did while I was gone was spend Easter with a friend and her family at her home in Italy! I got to try authentic Italian holiday dishes and wines while her family explained a little about the culture with each dish. I never would have had that opportunity back home.
I’m only halfway through my time in the UK, but already, I’m becoming a better, more cultured version of myself. Study abroad definitely has it ups and downs, but the cliché is true: study abroad was the best decision I’ve ever made. Until next time, cheers!