Jun 7, 2012

London: Homeward bound

It’s my last day in London, and I’m having trouble putting what I’m feeling into words. For the last five months I have lived, worked, and explored this beautiful city, and on Saturday I’m going to be heading back to the United States. Leaving London is incredibly bittersweet. I’m really excited to see my family and friends again, to kick off my senior year at Emory University, and to indulge in all the little things I missed while away (fresh Jersey blueberries, long bike rides, Trader Joes, and summer afternoons spent reading on the porch swing all come to mind). However, I know I’m going to miss London a lot. The city really has an amazing amount to offer: weekly street markets, amazing museums, and incredible sights, to name but a few. It will be strange when I get home and realize that I can’t simply walk to the grocery store for some milk or take a ten minute tube ride to half a dozen different (free!) museums whenever I want.

I feel so incredibly blessed to have been able to spend five months studying in the UK. Being able to explore London and travel to different cities in Europe has been a dream come true, and I’m so grateful for the opportunities I have had while here. I must admit that academically I struggled with being abroad; even though it looks like all I did was travel, I studied a lot, too! As an environmental studies and anthropology major in the US, being in the biology department at University College London was a challenge for me, and I had a hard time adjusting to the style of teaching in the UK. However, I learned a lot, enjoyed most of my classes, and am glad that I chose to challenge myself academically while abroad.

Overall, even though I'm sad to leave, I think I’m ready to go home. I loved being abroad and I wouldn’t take back the experience for the world, but I’m ready to have new adventures in the US! After I get home my family will be going to Arizona for my cousins wedding, and I can’t wait to see everyone and enjoy being together (which doesn't happen often enough!). In July I’ll be heading down to Atlanta to move into my off campus apartment, where I’ll be studying for the GRE and trying to find a job before the school year kicks off. Hopefully I’ll be catching up on blog posts, too; I can’t wait to share pictures from Italy, Sicily, Denmark, Sweden, and Scotland!

To everyone who has followed along with my study abroad adventures, thank you. Your words or encouragement and support have meant so much to me! And to everyone who helped make this possible (especially my wonderfully supportive parents), thank you from the bottom of my heart. I am so incredibly blessed to have you in my life.