When I chose to study in London, England, I knew that my experience abroad would be very different than my friends and classmates. Obviously, everyone in London speaks English, so I knew I wouldn’t have to deal with any language barriers. All my classes are in English, and very similar to the ones I would be taking at K. Additionally, I always thought of the British culture to be very similar to our own, so I didn’t think I would be getting a radically different experience in that regard.
As my departure date in September drew near, and I started seeing Facebook posts of friends who were already abroad posting pictures of their exotic surroundings, I started to regret my decision to study in a place so similar to America. I knew I wasn’t going to get the opportunity to run around with elephants or force down strange meals given to me by a host family, and that started to upset me. I would be living in a university dorm with British students.
My fears were soon put to rest. My flat mates at university have, in a way turned, into my host family. I have grown extremely close with every single one of them, and although my experiences so far could not be classified as “exotic,” it has still been an eye-opening experience that will change my outlook on life forever. Discovering the subtle, yet important, differences between the British and American cultures has proven to be very enlightening.