Reflections on Study Abroad

I’d like to reflect on three qualities that studying abroad has helped me develop, and how I plan to make the most of my remaining time in London.

1. Independence
The number one character trait I’ve worked on abroad has been independence. I’m now cooking on my own, managing transportation and sightseeing on my own, and traveling on my own. It is a great feeling to look back at my accomplishments and think about how far I’ve come. It is very rewarding to realize how independent I have been. Of course, I’m also proud of the close friendships I’ve made and all the memories I’ve had with my two best friends here. Yet I also appreciate the times I managed to tackle a big city alone.

2. Self-respect
Being abroad vastly improved my self-respect. It gave me a chance to refresh and take care of my body with exercise and diet. I recognized that I should follow my heart on what adventures I want to have while abroad. I respect that I always dreamed of traveling to Barcelona and to Paris, so I made it happen! I found that it made me feel great to make my aspirations my priorities.

3. Wanderlust
I’ve always been a homebody kind of person; my brother and I love to just stay home and watch movies together. The first few weeks of my time in London, I started watching a Netflix series called The Crown. Don’t get me wrong, the Crown is amazing and it really inspired me to get interested in the British royal family. However, I feel my time would have been better spent out exploring the city. Now I recognize that I need to take advantage of all the amazing things to be seen in London… Netflix will be waiting for me at home.

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It’s time for me to buckle down on final papers and exams, but at the same time, I’m wanting to squeeze in every ounce of adventure into my last month. So I’m re-cracking open all my guidebooks and making a list of the many adventures I’ve yet to experience. My friends and I are making plans ahead and also making spontaneous choices like, googling “vegan ice cream” on the spot or wandering through a park that we pass every day but never checked out before.

I’ve really enjoyed my semester, and although it is winding down, I am still making the most of it!

About the author

Charlotte Pillow

I am a member of the Class of 2019. I am originally from Ridgewood, NJ. I am a student in the Dual Degree in Nursing program. I am majoring in nursing, public health, and interdisciplinary dance studies, and minoring in psychology. I am the president of the College Diabetes Network and a research assistant at the School of Nursing. For the 2017 spring semester, I studied public health at the University of Oxford.

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