I am here checking in with my last blog post of the semester. I have officially been back in the United States for about 10 days and can say that I have gotten completely gotten over my jet lag. It took a few days, but things are finally back to normal in that regard. In today’s blog post, I’m going to reflect a little bit on the entirety of my experience and talk a little bit about the differences between London and the United States that I have noticed since being back.
First, I’ll reflect a little bit. Looking back at this semester, I can remember going through a whirlwind of emotions. When I first arrived in London, I remember sitting in my room the first day and saying “Why am I here? What am I doing?” I was initially so doubtful of the experience, but am so glad that I ended up doing it. This past semester was easily the best one of my life and opened my eyes to so many things. I experience a variety of cultures that I never thought I would be able to encounter. I think the best way to put this experience is that if I wouldn’t have gone, I would not understand the world as we know it and I wouldn’t understand that I don’t understand it. That sentence may have been a little confusing, but I believe that that is the best way for me to put it.
Being able to visit 13 countries and 27 cities truly was an eye opening experience. Being able to see how people live around the world was extremely interesting. I would never have realized how different life in the United States truly is from everywhere else in the world. I had figured that everything really wasn’t that different around the world, but I could not have been more wrong. There are multitudes of differences between the different cultures around the globe and it is super interesting to observe.
Now, I will talk a little bit about the differences that I have noticed between the United States and the other countries that I visited. One thing that really does not seem like much is the accessibility of water at restaurants. Most countries around Europe require you to buy bottled water if you would like water at restaurants. In the US, you are able to receive free water and it is definitely something that I have taken for granted during my life. Another thing that I have noticed since being back is the lack of desire to communicate with individuals who speak a different language. There seems to be a lack of appreciation for being multilingual in the US while it is almost common in every other country that I have visited.
All in all, I had an absolutely outstanding experience during my time abroad. It was my first time leaving the United States, but definitely not the last. I am looking forward to traveling around the globe after having this great of an experience over the last 5 months. I am so thankful for this experience and the opportunity that UVA presented me.
For the last time,