As I began my search for colleges in the summer of my senior year, this was one thing I was certain of: I needed to study abroad. Why was that so important to me, you may ask? Well, the only time I have been outside of the country was in ninth grade to Canada for a French trip. And while I very much enjoyed my time in another country, it was only five days long, which was not enough for me. I realized how important it was to travel and visit new places, whenever the opportunity arises.
Some people may think it’s crazy that one of the biggest factors I considered when choosing a college was the study abroad program, but obviously I believe the opposite. One of the main reasons I chose Arcadia in the first place was because of the amazing opportunity given to first-year students known as the first-year study abroad experience (FYSAE). I had not seen a college with such a unique program and I just needed to know more. After some research, and talking to former FYSAE students, I knew Arcadia was for me.
When I think about why I even wanted to study abroad so badly, lots of things come to mind. For one, I love learning about new and different cultures I might not experience here in the United States. I have also loved the UK and its history since I was a child. I am incredibly grateful to be able to go there next semester. Many great classes are also offered through Arcadia in London. For instance, there is London: City of Art, where students visit galleries around the city. That is something I never thought I would be able to do, but with FYSAE, it became possible. Another class that really excites me about next semester is Creative Writing. For most English and Creative writing majors, it is uncommon to even take a creative writing class the first year, but in London it is offered! I couldn’t have been more happy when I found this out.
While I can’t wait to go, I have to admit before now I was pretty nervous about studying abroad. I mean, I’m only 18 years old and I have to travel to an entirely new continent alone. But after meeting so many new people in the same headspace as me, I am confident in my ability to excel next semester. I am more excited than ever to begin my journey in London. And who knows, maybe I will love it more than I think and will discover a new forever home.