I’m very capable of writing a grandiose, long-winded conclusion to this blog. But now that I’m home I feel strange adding anything more to this blog or my journals. It’s like I’ve finished a book but it’s too soon to go back and re-read it. So I’ll keep it short for anyone still following.
There are so many aspects of study abroad that produce change. Travelling, living in a foreign country, classes and being far outside of your comfort zone.
And for the most part I didn’t write about the changes. Quite frankly it’s a lot harder to write about than travel, day trips and pop culture. And it’s not as much fun for me either.
But as I sit in my bed at home so far away from the city I’ve spent the past three months, I think about the ways that I have changed.
Living in a foreign country forced me to open my mind and think about everything differently ( literally everything: politics, art, religion, the environment, etc.).
I feel like I understand America so much better. Or at least I understand why some of the things that are quite normal to me baffle people from other countries. I’m much more aware of how other countries view the United States and how sometimes their perceptions are based on the worst things we have to offer. Having to explain your culture to others and deal with stereotypes is frustrating but enlightening. I’ve been forced to think critically about my own values and the way I approach the world.
I’ve seen that despite the differences in cultures that there are some things that are basic human nature. My experiences in London changed the way I relate to other people for the better.
One of the most important things study abroad has done is make me realize how little I know- how little anyone really knows in context of the great and ambiguous everything. My world is so much bigger now.
And that is a very good thing.