Transitioning to study abroad comes with it challenges. Amanda Robinson, AIFS Customized Faculty Led Student Blogger from the University of St Thomas, has spent the past few weeks adjusting to her new life away from the United States. Follow along with her time study abroad below. In her first post, Amanda shares how she has been transitioning to her study abroad adventure in London.
Studying abroad is an amazing yet challenging opportunity. You pack up your life into two suitcases and arrive at your foreign destination in a flights time. Let me be the first to say, preparing for the fun and adventure is a lot easier than planning for the obstacles and the life transition that takes place
I have experienced a few transition stages while being abroad. The first stage consists of elevated emotions. I am in a completely new, exotic and foreign place that I am in awe with. Everywhere I go I have to have my camera out to take pictures of either the architecture or just pure beauty of the city. However the obstacles that come with this fascinating country are figuring out the transportation (in my case the tubes and busses), what amenities are open to the public (as in free toilets, wifi and water) and most importantly the perfect place to study… that is because we are supposed to be “studying” abroad as they say.
Homesickness and familiarization
The second and third transition stage complete each other; home sickness and familiarization. We have experienced so much since being here. AIFS Student Services organised a wide variety of events for us. For example, we have visited Buckingham Palace and Hampton Court, taken a day trip to Cambridge and the Olympic Park, gazed across London from the London Eye, seen a show at The Globe Theatre and attended Afternoon Tea at The British Museum. However, despite these exciting events I did begin to face homesickness. Although I have travelled all over the city of London to museums, castles, gardens, coffee shops, libraries and pubs there was something missing… my home, family and friends that I had left for three months. This stage however didn’t last long, it was just becoming more real that I was in a new foreign home for three months and becoming accustomed to their culture instead of mine.
Making the decision to study abroad has been one of the best decisions of my life. In a month’s time, I have learned so much about British history, art and culture. I have also learned about myself through the obstacles of adapting to a new culture. My advice to you is take every opportunity to explore, learn, take pictures, journal your time abroad and most importantly EAT!
Amanda is studying on an AIFS Customized Faculty-Led Program through the University of St Thomas on the London Business Semester. Amanda and her twin, Ali, are sharing their experience on their ‘Twins Abroad’ Instagram account.