I have been home a week now from the UK, and I still can’t believe I did it. I can’t believe the six weeks flew by and I am now home sharing only memories and pictures with friends and family. There were so many things I learned during my time abroad, including things relating to my program on the history and culture of Glasgow and London, and even things I have learned about myself. I miss the UK already, and I miss everything I had the chance to experience.
It is funny how the mind can adapt to things quickly while you are abroad. Although I think with the jet lag, my brain did not quite catch up back in the States. A few days back home I still wanted to say pounds in place of dollars because of how hard I trained my mind to only say pounds while in the UK. I also still find myself looking for a light switch on the outside wall of the bathroom like the way it was set up in Glasgow and London. Even though there are bigger differences between the U.S. and the UK, it is interesting that the small, more daily life aspects of being in a different country are what stuck with me the most. It shows how immersed I was in the culture of the two countries.
Although, I do miss one major difference. I miss walking everywhere and the accessibility of public transportation in Glasgow and London. In the two cities, I would average over ten thousand steps a day just because walking from place to place was much easier. In London, public transportation was definitely easier to navigate and more accessible than in Glasgow, but I still had to walk to and from the tube station. Back home, I live in the suburbs, so walking to the places I need to go is not possible.
I think this program fell into my lap at the perfect time. I never thought I would be able to study abroad since I transferred to Temple University my junior year. I also switched my major and with Covid-19, I just did not think it was possible. I also had no idea when I would get the chance to travel to Europe. So, I am so incredibly grateful I had this opportunity. This experience helped me grow as a person because it forced me out of my comfort zone and offered me new insights. Even studying in a different country was a new experience, and one I had to get used to especially in only a six-week time frame. I made so many new friends and new memories abroad that I will always cherish.
This is not it for me, I know I will return to the UK. After all the incredible experiences I had, how could I not? However, there will be a difference the next time. The next time I get an opportunity to visit the UK, there will be no doubt in the back of my mind. I will know I can do it because I already have done it, and if I forget, I have thousands of photos to look back on to motivate me. So cheers to Glasgow and London, I will be back!