With Valentine’s Day right around the corner, I think it’s finally time to gush all about how I met my study abroad soulmate: London. Finding the perfect place to study abroad can be a tough decision and for multiple reasons. Not only are there so many beautiful and interesting places to choose as your home base for when you're abroad, you also need to find a program that facilitates your personality and interests.
If I was to compare my personal experience with finding a study abroad program to a famous love quotation, I’d have to go with my main man Billy Shakespeare’s quote– “the course of true love never did run smooth.” A year ago I wasn’t sure where I would be studying abroad, only that I knew I had to make study abroad work. After not getting accepted into the study abroad program for my own school, which limits the amount of kids it can take because of space limitations, I was left unsure of where to turn to next.
It took me a while to find IES Abroad, and even once I did find it there was still some uncertainty on where I would end up. There was a program through another University on the East Coast that was stationed in London which at first seemed to be the perfect fit, but I soon discovered that they only ran the program in the Fall whereas I had my heart set on going in the Spring. It was like being shoved on a blind date to find out halfway through they didn't like dogs– all that awkward small talk for nothing.
After that debacle, I thought for a time that I would study in Dublin. This dream was squashed when I discovered the writing courses they offered, which I needed for my major, were only offered in the Fall. Another failed first date– after weeks spent getting the program approved through my school, it all amounted to nothing. This is around where IES Abroad finally came into my life. Through looking at all the cities IES Abroad offered programs, I started feeling less stressed about finding somewhere to study.
I spent a lot of time contemplating where would be a great fit for me. Through all the difficulties I experienced, London had kept popping up as a possibility for me; so, I considered all it could offer. As a Writing, Literature, and Publishing major, literature and writing is incredibly important to me. One huge positive in London’s corner was its rich literary past, and since being here I’ve taken advantage of this. I've visited places Jane Austen discusses in her books, seen the Globe Theatre and productions of Shakespeare, visited Charles Dickens’ home, and on and on.
Another thing to consider is the sort of energy you like in a place to study. I love the city atmosphere, but I also love historical significance and beautiful architecture. Check, check, and check. London offered me all of this. It's a city that's always moving and changing. There’s constantly something going on and something to do, which I loved (and still do).
It’s important to look at what matters most to you when you try to discover where you want to have your study abroad romance. Certain things that matter a lot to me may not matter to you. Just because London has treated me wonderfully doesn't mean it'll mesh with you the right way. Consider many things before deciding, some important aspects being location, interests, language, and culture just to name a few.
Getting through the deciding stage of study abroad can be difficult, but don't lose hope. Once you have entered a city that is the perfect fit for you, it will all snap right into place. No more awkward first dates, no more waiting for a text that'll never come– you've entered into monogomous, healthy relationship territory. London has been everything I wanted it to be and more. Falling in love was so easy, even if the road was a little bumpy.
More Blogs From This Author
<p>Annie Lindenberg spends the majority of her year in Boston, MA where she is studying Writing, Literature and Publishing at Emerson College. Along with her creative writing pursuits, she also writes film and television reviews as a staff writer for Emertainment Monthly. When not writing or exploring, you can find her eating copious amounts of guacamole and starting books she has almost no time to finish.</p>