After spending the summer in London, it was somewhat difficult returning to the reliable cornfields of Indiana. After seven weeks in another country there was certainly a culture shock coming back and getting used to living in America again. As I look back on my time in London, I find it hard to reflect as it almost seems like a dream now. This reflection has been perhaps the most difficult prompt to write about, but I can still think back to my time in London with joy.
From the bustling streets of London, where a new language was heard every twenty feet, and different cultures swept the streets, I was able to garner an appreciation for the celebration of worlds different from my own. That was perhaps one of the most salient side effects of studying abroad as I found that learning more about other people and where they came from in Europe was different than in America. It is incomparable meeting someone from Morocco and learning about their country than it is meeting someone from Ohio. As I met more people I was introduced to more unique experiences in the world and more importantly, I was able to understand how people outside of America viewed us. Looking back, there were many people that have an inherent hostility towards us as they view us through a lens of our politics and choices of country. Overcoming their disposition towards us was not an easy task, but it was that much sweeter finding friends abroad. The day before my last day, I was able to meet up with a friend who lives near Hastings at a gym in London. We went to BUILT DIFFERENTLY Gym and then grabbed dinner, and that experience is something I will never forget. How often is it you get to go to a famous powerlifting gym and be the only American there?
In regards to the best experiences I had whilst in England, there are two trips I wish to highlight and recommend to anyone visiting. First, I’ll highlight my time at Dover at the White Cliffs. What else is there to talk about—the beautiful view and ethereal feeling that comes when standing on a cliff over the English Channel that could fall down to the shore at any moment. It is instances like this that make you cherish the opportunities and choices that allowed for that moment to happen. While Dover carried it with one of the best views in London, Bath will forever hold a place in my heart. Something about the town, likely due to Jane Austen, made me feel I was walking through a story. Taking part in something centuries-old that to this day held the beauty that it did then. If there is anywhere you go that is not within the larger scope of London, make it Bath.
Finally, I have come to reflect on how writing a blog and posting on social media has changed my interactions with London. Perhaps I would not have kept the same memories like the ones that I put down in writing or posting, but one thing is certain: I have created an undying memoir of my exact thoughts and feelings while studying abroad, and I will always be grateful for that. If you’re reading this and questioning whether or not you should study abroad, I’ll leave you with a resounding yes. Thanks for reading!
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<p>My name is Eli McCoy, I'm going into my senior year at Indiana University in Bloomington and I'm currently a double major in History and English. I plan on going to Law School after I finish my undergraduate degrees and would like to work in Family Law. In my free time, I have a few hobbies that I am very passionate about and like to spend time on. The first is reading, something that has always been a passion of mine, I try to read somewhere between 15-20 books a year. I'm also a big fan of lifting and MMA, I lift 4-5 times a week and have been training boxing for almost 5 years now. Finally, I love all forms of poetry and love writing it myself in any form. I'm really looking forward to broadening my travels and experiencing a new culture!</p>