Smile Because it Happened.
Is it really over? It’s hard to look back at the past seven months and comprehend that it is all just a memory. I had the most amazing time and I wish I could do it all again. Before I left for England I always wanted to see the world and travel, but it wasn’t until I handed in my application for study abroad that I finally realized I followed through and it was actually happening. Living abroad for just a short period of time really changed my perspective. I grew up with the idea that Vancouver would be my home; I would leave to travel but always come back. It wasn’t until I actually left that I realized the world has so much more to offer; in only a few months away I changed, I grew up and realized I can make a home wherever I am happy. Turns out new places, new people and new things make me happy.
If study abroad has taught me one thing, it is that I like change, and that I can adapt to new things better than I thought. For anyone considering study abroad I say DO IT! I always thought about going and one day I filled out the application and it was done and I was going to England, and that was the best split decision I have made! I grew up while I was gone and discovered that sometimes the biggest decisions in life can be easiest to make. Study abroad was always something I considered, it was a way for me to see the world and not put my schooling on hold. I am so happy I had this opportunity.
For students that do go abroad, make the most of your experience, but I’m sure you already will. Do things you wouldn’t normally do, talk to people you may never approach at home and go places you have never even heard of! It may all be scary at first but in the end you will never ever look back at this experience as a regret. Don’t worry about your finances too much and don’t even bother converting the currency back to Canadian, it will only make you sad.
I can’t believe how quickly my time abroad went by. I can’t wait to see what the future has in store for me; I am counting down the days until my next adventure!
Read Courtenay's full report(.pdf) on her semester abroad at the University of Hertfordshire in Hatfield, United Kingdom,