It’s really hard to believe that my trip is over and I’m
back home sitting at my own desk again. In many ways, it feels like
the last three months flew by and I haven’t been gone long
at all. I was sad to leave my surroundings at Queen’s which
had become rather comfortable and familiar, and of course I would
miss the new friends I made. But on the other hand, I was thankful
for all the things I was returning home to. On the long, trans-Atlantic
plane ride back, I had the chance to think holistically about my
study abroad experience and the value of studying and living in
a foreign country.
The goal I set for myself at the beginning of the term was to become
more independent. I came here alone and unsure of what things would
be like, but ready to adapt to whatever happened. I think, in the
end, the most important thing I learned on this trip was just that.
I could be a success in a totally new environment. I had the tools
to survive and even thrive in a way I never thought possible.
I had a lot
of new experiences this semester. The sight-seeing was great, the
night life was a lot of fun, and the classes and academic structure
was different and
challenging. But the thing about this
trip that I’ll remember years from now is all the great conversations
and fun I had with the other students. It was amazing to be with
so many international students and have the opportunity to talk
about serious issues from this new perspective. Everything was not
always so serious, though. In the end, I discovered that people
are very similar in their desire to make connections with one another.
My friends here truly opened my eyes, and I’ll cherish those