It’s crazy to think that I only have 2 weeks left of my study abroad program. I’ve made so many friends who I’m still going to stay in touch with when I get back to the states. If I were to write a letter to myself or to anyone who’s never studied abroad, it would probably look like this:
Hey! I loved my study abroad trip but there are some things I wish I knew before I came here. With the internship I received I don’t have to dress business casual but just plain casual. My boss was super lax about the dress code for work so I, personally, wouldn’t bring as many business clothes because they took up quite some space in my suitcase. It definitely doesn’t hurt to bring some though. Another hint of advice is to leave some room in your suitcase for extra clothes you buy here. When I got to the airport my checked bag was exactly 50 lbs and going back I know it’s going to be well over that because of all the shopping I did here. While you’re here you’re probably going to want to travel every weekend to another country but honestly London is just as fun and adventurous as some other places you may travel to. I think I took three trips this semester and I feel each one was special but my weekend excursions in London were sometimes just as good as the places I visited. It’s important when living in another country to have an open mind. When I arrived here, I didn’t have any spice tolerance and I usually stuck to eating foods I was comfortable with. When I met Yash and Graham, they opened my palate to Indian food as well as some other food dishes I would normally not try. Now, after eating with them, I realized I really do like spice and lots of Indian foods. When I was in Barcelona, I tried seafood paella and I never thought I would ever eat muscles or even clams but I really enjoyed the dish (bottom picture). Studying abroad forces you outside of your comfort zone (even in an English-speaking country) and you have to be mentally prepared for this. If I went in with a closed mind about everything, I would have not enjoyed my experience as much. One last thing, don’t forget to talk to your parents. My mom is always happy when I call her to check in and it is great sharing stories with her. Looking back everything seems like a blur and it’s important to tell your parents or to even write down your weekly experiences so you don’t forget the small things that happened too. Studying abroad is something I will never forget. I know you won’t forget it either!