This past semester, Fall 2023, I had the opportunity to study at the University of Brighton in Brighton, England. My perspective of this trip is unique, because I completed the Critical Language Scholarship Program in Taiwan the summer before I traveled to England. During 2023, I immersed myself in two opposite cultures and loved every moment. I experienced culture shock and dealt with a language barrier while living in Taiwan so a transition to England was quite simple. I was able to easily adapt to life in England since I had traveled and lived with a host family before. Being able to easily transition and merge into the daily life of a British person, allowed me to make lifelong connections, easily travel throughout the UK and EU, and keep an open-minded mentality during England.
I lived with five flatmates in Falmer, which is a small area 15 minutes away from Brighton. Thankfully, I was one of the only study abroad students in USAC to be rooming with two local British students, who became my best friends. My other flatmates were from New Zealand, Nebraska, and Tennessee and being able to live with such a diverse flat was tremendous. Countless memories of laughter during morning coffee and tea together, late night food runs, and listening to everyones favorite genre of music are some of the most cherished moments I will have.
Additionally, I had the chance to immerse myself in British culture and travel to various castles and historic sites. Windsor Castle, Buckingham Palace, and Hever Castle are just some of the places I went to with my British Culture and History course. I tried a Sunday Roast, a proper afternoon tea, and one of the most interesting-haggis in Scotland.
Since my return, I have kept in contact with a few of my close friends I made in England and we are planning trips to continue our travels and meet again. This is my favorite part of studying abroad because it is the only beginning of my travels. It’s a story book with many ups and downs, but as a whole it is a beautiful story and I have only completed the first chapter. I plan to choose a career that will allow me to travel and hopefully settle in a foreign country. I love studying and immersing myself in foreign cultures and I cannot wait to embark upon my next journey.
To simply state that “studying abroad in England changed my life,” is an understatement of my experience. I cannot explain this trip in words when my friends or family ask me, “How was England?” I am dumbfounded and at a loss of words for a sudden as my mind flashbacks to everyone I met and every memory I have. There is so much I could say about who I interacted with, where I went, and what I ate. I wish that everyone could have the chance to study abroad because it really is the best experience of your life.
Emma Roy (BS Secondary Education) spent the Fall 2023 semester studying abroad in Brighton, England through USAC. Emma had the following to say about studying abroad, “Studying abroad is one of the best experiences of your life. You have the opportunity immerse yourself in a brand new culture and broaden your perspective of the world. You make lifelong connections and build a network consisting of some the closest friends you will ever have, because you cannot share these experiences with someone else. I believe everyone should study abroad!”
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