Study Abroad: A Student’s Experience

I would like to share with you all a story about my study abroad experience. During the spring semester of 2011, I decided to study fashion abroad in London. I hope my story inspires some of you to study abroad as well.

My Story

I can hardly put into words what my semester in London was like. As a student who had never traveled overseas before, I was quite skeptical as to whether I would make it five whole months away from home. I wasn’t exactly sure what my experience would be like, I expected to attend school, learn about the world of fashion from another country’s perspective and about the culture as well. However, what I got out of my experience was so much more than that. After stepping off the plane, I immediately fell in love with the city of London.

Being one of the most diverse cities in the world, I had the chance to make friends with people from all over. I consider my experience to be quite different from many others in the sense that I was one of very few American students studying at my chosen university. This gave me the chance to learn not only about the British culture, but many other cultures as well.

One of the most surreal moments during my time away occurred at a gathering for a friend’s birthday. When it came time to sing happy birthday, everyone sang in their own native language. Even though our clash of languages sounded like a jumbled song, the realization of having so many people from different cultures together in one room was an indescribable feeling.

Our group of friends was one that was so unique because we were all different from one another yet so similar. The friendships we created allowed us to learn so much from one another and also realize how much we had in common, despite where we came from.

As my time abroad came to an end, I realized what the experience had done for me. It had taught me so much about others as well as myself. I have learned a whole new sense of independence as well as an interest in continuing my travels to other parts of the world.

One thing many people do not realize is that your study abroad experience doesn’t end after you leave your host country. I still stay in touch with the friends I have made during my time away and we even plan to visit each other in our home countries. Your cultural learning experience doesn’t stop after you leave; it has only just begun.

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Jane Marie Trombly

Jane Marie Trombly

Jane Trombly is a junior at Central Michigan University pursuing a degree in apparel merchandising with a minor in journalism. She has also participated in a study abroad program at the University of East London. At school, Jane is an active member of the Greek community, and CMU’s fashion association. In her spare time, Jane enjoys spending time with friends and family, traveling, and writing for her very own fashion blog.
Jane Marie Trombly

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