Where did you go? When?
University of Leicester in England. Spring semester of 2011.
Would you recommend this location to another student and why?
I would recommend this location to another student because not only are you at a great university with faculty who are passionate about what they do, but you are also only an hour and a half away from London and all the culture there, and from there the rest of Europe is easily reached. Not only that but Leicester does a great job of being a large city, but feeling like a close community, one that I felt very safe in.
What was your most memorable experience/day/moment?
My most memorable experience was during my spring break. I had a chance to see a play at the Globe theater in London, Alls Well That Ends Well. I am a huge fan of theater and of Shakespeare and so to see that play preformed at a historic theater was a chance of a lifetime. And it only cost me $8!
What was the worst experience?
My worst day was towards the beginning of my study abroad experience, about 2 or 3 weeks in? It had been gray and misty rain every day since I had arrived, winter in England of course, and I was missing home. I was lonely, homesick, and sad because of the weather. I started crying over skype to my mom. It all turned around the next day, but that day was the worst.
What are the benefits of studying abroad? (personal/academic)
Studying abroad is beneficial both personally and academically. Academically studying abroad gives you a unique perspective into the culture and educational systems of other countries. It is one thing to read about the differences in a text book, quite another thing to experience it first hand. Personally studying abroad widens your point of view on a variety of things. Getting out into the world and seeing that there is more than the singular point of view that you grew up with is an interesting experience. For me, studying abroad was one of the best things I could have done for personal growth.
What advice would you give someone considering study abroad?
To those who are going to study abroad I would say that you should make sure to find a place and courses that really interest you. If you don't enjoy what you are studying or the place you are you won't get as much out of it as you could. Also, travel as much as possible. There is never enough time to see everything, but do your best!
Returning, I would say that you should expect things to have changed, people, the town, etc. The world moves on when you are gone, sometimes it doesn't feel like it, but it does! And people won't want to hear about everything you want to tell them about studying abroad, they will get bored. So find someone who does want to hear it all!