BY HOLLY NICKERSON
Studying abroad in England should not have been that big of a stretch for me, right? The Brits still speak English and the weather would not be too hot or too cold. I should have been a veritable Goldilocks plopped right into the perfect bowl of porridge. Instead, I was rudely dropped into a soggy, constantly wet, full English breakfast. (Note: I don’t think food should touch that much). Now you, dear St Norbert Times reader, are probably thinking that I must hate my study abroad semester. You could not be more wrong! This Friday is my two month-versary and I loveit. I cannot imagine being ready to go back to St. Norbert and highly encourage everyone to at least visit England, and Manchester especially.
My classes are interesting: Russian Politics, Holocaust Theology, Science Fiction: From Frankenstein to the Matrix and Leadership in Action. The biggest difference I found was the lack of constant work to be turned in and finished. Everything here is individually driven, and grades don’t happen until the final exams and papers.
Do you know all of those Buzzfeed, Huffington Post articles that have been cropping up lately? “14 Reasons to….blah blah blah”? Well I have made one of my own.
“6 Key Tips to Studying Abroad and Loving It”
- Try everything! Every weird food, festival, show or trip is going to add to your experience, even if it’s going to a movie to watch a live show broadcasted from London (Shakespeare’s Coriolanus).
- Make friends with some Americans, some Brits and a ton of other international students. Everyone will want to sample each other’s cultures, and you will see some interesting world perspectives.
- Travel to local and foreign places. So far I have seen: Germany, Austria, Czech Republic, England (Manchester, London, Liverpool, Oxford, the Peak and Lake Districts) and Belgium. My top favorites are Prague, Czech Republic, the Peak District and Bruges, Belgium. These three completely different places are where I found I soaked up the most culture and enjoyed myself the most. So far, of course!
- Bring your camera. I don’t care if you look tourist-y. And honestly, after you get that perfect shot of the church on your way to class that always looks scary because it’s dreary and cloudy, but today it isn’t because the sun found Manchester, you’ll agree.
I am still waiting for my first huge culture shock moment, and I have not been homesick yet, but there have been moments where I have felt very far away from the U.S., Wisconsin and Indiana. Like when I was almost hit by a bus because I forgot about looking behind me when I crossed the road to see if someone was turning. Or, when I told my flatmates I hadn’t tried this x, y or z British snack food yet. Or, when I get mocked daily for my accent.
It’s a different world studying abroad “across the pond,” but I really, really love it!