BY JESSICA KNUTH
People are always saying how studying abroad is an experience of a lifetime…and they are right! My time in Manchester is half over already, but it has been amazing! I know the next few weeks are going to fly by and, as much as, I miss home, it makes me sad thinking about leaving.
The first few days here were crazy. The combination of jet lag, culture shock and being homesick was a lot to handle the first week. But anyone who is thinking of going abroad, do not let this scare you! After everyone finally got to campus, there was so much to do that I forgot all about of it.
One of the first things I noticed was how friendly the people are! On the second day here we got lost and a police officer came up to us and helped us find our way back. Also everyone says “cheers” and “love” all the time, which gives you such a great feeling!
Once classes started, my life finally got back onto a regular schedule. The weird thing is they do not spend as much time in class here. Maybe it is because I do not have a job in Manchester, but I have more free time here than I ever have back home. Not only is there less time spent in the class, but there seems to be less homework as well outside of class. This is perhaps because I am not actually in a course of study here like the rest of the students studying all three years. Nonetheless, the amount of free time is crazy! For the most part the classes are good. I love my Introduction to Business Anthropology class. It is one of the most interesting classes I have ever taken and the teachers for it are great!
The great thing about being in Europe is you never get bored! If you do not feel like staying in your city or country for the weekend, you can travel. It is far less expensive than traveling around the states and there are so many new things to see! Not only is it easy to travel, but there are also various means of transportation. You can fly, ride a coach bus or take the train; the opportunities are endless.
Being here for just under two months, I have had time to notice all of the differences. One of the most obvious but crazy differences is they drive on the opposite side of the road. When I first got here, crossing the street consisted of me checking each way at least seven times before trusting myself to cross. Another difference is some of the phrases they use. You would think British English would be similar to American English, but there are so many differences. For example, they call pants “trousers”, and they call underwear “pants”. This made things quite difficult at the beginning of the semester and has even resulted in getting weird looks from numerous people on different occasions.
As my time here continues to get shorter, I have realized that leaving here is going to be very difficult. As much as I miss home, I am not ready to leave. I feel that I still have so much to do and leaving my new friends with the possibility of never seeing them again is going to be challenging. This experience has really opened my eyes to what is out there in the world and I am extremely blessed to have had this opportunity. If anyone is considering going abroad, do it! It has been one of the best experiences of my life.