I would first like to reflect on the fact that this trip helped me to change my opinion on college social life. I am very much an introvert and I feared everyone would already know one another and I would be left alone most days. That was the opposite of the truth, while some knew one another many were independent travelers like myself. I was comforting to learn that others had the same fears of isolation as me and that they also felt a warm welcome by everyone. It has been hard to make friends or even acquaintances while going to college during a pandemic and also not being that social but this experience helped me realize I have no reason to fear trying because I was rewarded with the outcome.
Second I would like to reflect on my opinions of the countries. I enjoyed England the most, maybe this can be attributed to time there or the lack of a language barrier, but I still conclude it is my favorite. Seeing the things such as the British Museum and Downe House and going on the Harry Potter Walking tour really helped me grasp a sense of the city and nation as a whole. The nation is not just urban cities or tiny villages but a mix of both, the walking tour and museum helped me know more about the rich history both the fun coincidences and the more dark parts of colonization. I enjoyed the medieval and psychological aspects of our time in Germany but not the Nazi history, I don’t know who would but the history was still educational and caused me to reflect on out own nations past and present. I enjoyed Austria quite a bit, I wish we had train passed though so I could have seen more. The market I got to walk through was so cute and I could have spent days in the shopping district alone.
Lastly I would like to reflect on the education experiences of the trip, one of my favorite educational things we did was the Freud museums. I liked that we saw both the London house and the Vienna house the ability to compare the two and paint a picture of what Freuds life outside of psychology was, and it was very interesting to say the least. I also really enjoyed Darwins house and the facts we learned about his personal life style, how his family dynamics were, and how he would track experiments in his own yard. Additionally as a psych student I didn’t know much about the Nuremberg trials so having the opportunity to learn about the trials and visit the site was very interesting. I think the thing that peaked my academic interest the most was the talks we listened to from the Birmingham professors and students, they changed my views on linguistics and made me want to learn more, which is always a good thing. All in all I feel very fortunate and thankful to have been able to participate in such a wide variety of activities and to have been apart of the trip to Europe.
Eleanor Yates (BS Psychology) spent Summer 2022 in England, Germany, and Austria as part of a faculty-led trip linked with a UTC course. Eleanor had the following to say about study abroad, “Definitely take the opportunity to go abroad if it becomes available to you it introduces you to so many new people you may have never met on campus and new experiences you could never have in America.”