Bringing Study Abroad Home

Rachel Thompson
August 1, 2013

When I imagined coming home at the end of my summer abroad, I expected a bit of exhaustion, restlessness and adjustment to what is naturally much slower than a jam-packed six weeks of sightseeing, exploring and traveling.

True, home is a bit slower than Dublin.  I can’t fly to another country in an hour time span.  I can’t go out of my house and find myself in the middle of a vibrant European city filled with pubs, museums and culture.  Of course I miss all of those things.

But the feeling of urgency that came with trying to do and see as much as I could during my time there is something I carried home with me like another Dublin souvenir carefully placed in my suitcase.  Since I’ve been home, my enthusiasm to see more of my own state and country has expanded immensely.

Even though I grew up in California, I’ve never been to Big Sur.  I’d like to go back to Coloma, a historic gold town I visited as a child.  I can’t wait to meander down the streets of San Francisco with a few of my best friends.  Once I get back to Texas in August, I want to explore some of the hiking trails around the area.  There are a handful of restaurants I’m eager to test out in Austin. I’m planning a road trip to see some of the places in the southern United States I haven’t had a chance to explore.

There is nothing like studying abroad.  No other experience could have given me the opportunities for travel, local culture, learning and growing as a student and as a person.  But the yearning to explore what’s around me and see all that I can?  That can be applied anywhere.  Spending a summer in Dublin gave me an immense appreciation for the city and Irish culture, but it also spurred a renewed desire to delve into the wonders of my own country.

My bet is San Francisco, and the other places I visit and re-visit, will look even more spectacular with (slightly more) worldly eyes.

The view of San Francisco from the Bay Bridge


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Rachel Thompson

<p><span style="color: rgb(29, 29, 29); font-family: Arial, Verdana, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; line-height: normal; background-color: rgb(237, 237, 237);">Hi there! I&#39;m a California native studying journalism in one of the coolest cities in the world, at The University of Texas at Austin. I&#39;m a fan of chocolate, watching sports (go Giants), nice people, anything vintage and pretty much all music. I write as much as I can, whether it&#39;s a news article, a blog, or just a journal entry. When I&#39;m not writing, I love to run, try new recipes in my little kitchen, take dance classes and catch up with friends. My goal is to see every continent someday. I&#39;m getting there!</span></p>

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