From fireworks to the Tube: how I made London my home

Allison Bruns
June 18, 2018

There’s a common misconception that study abroad students are the thrill seeking, let’s-go-skydiving-just-because-we-can type people. I’m not really that type of person. I love traveling and seeing the world, but the idea of spending my summer in another country was intimidating. If you’re afraid of going abroad and having everything unfamiliar, this one’s for you.

The home where I grew up was about 10 minutes away from a popular amusement park. Every night at exactly 10:00 pm, they would have a firework show to announce that the park was closing. My sister Elise and I would always stay up way past our bed time (sorry Mom and Dad) to watch the fireworks and pick our favorites nearly every night. When I come home from university, it is one of the most calming sounds for me. I don’t usually watch it nowadays, but hearing them feels routine, comforting, and like home.

When I first came to London, I was falling asleep the first night and couldn’t help but feel nervous. After all, London was a completely new place to me with everything being unfamiliar. I knew that I didn’t know a single thing about how to do the simple things, like doing laundry or grocery shopping. It was overwhelming to think about all of the differences between London and the US and how I was going to navigate them. As I was laying there, I heard a rumbling noise. At first, I was confused, but then I realized that it was the sound of the Tube moving underground. I checked the time and it was almost exactly 10:00 pm.

It might sound strange, but that’s how I felt comforted in my fears. I took one of my favorite memories from my childhood and found a piece of it in London. Going to a new place is frightening and overwhelming, but it is completely possible to do and have an amazing experience. If you’re like me and have your fair share of fears surrounding the idea of spending a considerable length of time abroad, think about doing what I did. Find a piece of your home wherever you go. It could be something as small as a street that is named similar to one you know, as unique as the sound of the Tube, or as special as someone else on your trip being from the same state as you. These connections make an unfamiliar place familiar and help you realize that while the world is a big place, there are bits of home everywhere.

Allison Bruns

<p>Hello, I'm Allison! I am a Public Relations major and I am very passionate about travelling the world and learning about different cultures. I am a serious foodie, and one of my favorite parts of travelling is being able to experience culture through food in the place I'm in. I spent my Winter Break this year in China which was probably my favorite trip I've been on! When I am not flying or taking a road trip, I love all things history. Here's a fun fact about me: when I take study breaks, go on The History Channel website and read different articles about whatever is going on in the history world. I am so excited to be spending time in London and to learn about all of the history and culture there!</p>

Destination:
Term:
2018 Summer 1, 2018 Summer 2, 2019 Spring
Home university:
Indiana University
Hometown:
Cincinnati, OH
Major:
Public Relations
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