What I Learned During My Study Abroad Experience

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Studying in another country was a great way to learn new things, and the learning doesn’t only happen in the classroom. Most of my learning happened in mini rants, deep thinking, and prayer. Still, if I were given the chance to study abroad again I would do it. I studied abroad at De Montfort University in Leicester, England for three months. Those months was the best months of my life for self-refection, building relationships, and growing in my relationship with God. I confirmed and learned so much about myself during those months abroad.

 De Montfort University

De Montfort University

 

Isaiah 41:10 was my favorite Bible verse when I was abroad. “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” There were many moments when I doubted myself and God. However, God aided me in every situation from being a few blocks away from a terrorist attack to stressing over assignments. I learned to trust God no matter what, because he was always there.

 John Wesley Chapel

John Wesley Chapel

I didn’t really experience homesickness. There were some girls from my home university, who had a hard time dealing with missing home. I had moments of missing my family like when my older brother got married, my little brother had a bomb threats at his high school, and thanksgiving’s tales and fun. However, I enjoyed the space from my family and the chance to be independent in another country. The independence of being in another country was exciting and eye-opening. Furthermore, I met amazing people, who helped me feel at home.

 My Flat mates from Hong Kong, France, and Germany

My Flat mates from Hong Kong, France, and Germany

 

Everyone says it’s easier to travel around Europe while you are in neighboring countries. Before I left, I had plans to travel to France, Italy, and Greece. Instead, I was sitting in my favorite coffee shop, St. Martin’s, slipping on melted chocolate mochas, and talking for hours with the friends I made at De Montfort University. The relationship I made during my months abroad was more life-changing than trips to other countries. I knew I could travel to those countries in the future. Nonetheless, the relationships I made were more important than a bobble head of Marie Antoinette. I learned that relationships are more important than bragging about the places I visited.

 
 Birmingham, England

Birmingham, England

Another thing I learned while I was abroad was that America was a bubble to me. Many Americans don’t know what was happening in other countries, while many people around the world know about everything happening in America. Before I left to study abroad, I used to think that other countries disliked America. But, I was surprised by how many people viewed America as a ‘great’ place. Students had listed the music, food, people, culture, and opportunities as some of the reasons why they loved or was interested in America.

 London, England

London, England

Studying abroad in England was a wonderful experience and I learned so much about myself and others during my time there. I educated myself on the things I like, God, and the importance of relationships. Anyone who wants to see a change in themselves should travel abroad, because that experience is life-changing.

It’s a funny thing coming home. Nothing changes. Everything looks the same, feels the same, and even smells the same. You realize what’s changed is you.
— F. Scott Fitzgerald

Thessalonia Thomas

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Thessalonia Thomas is a graphic design student at Francis Marion University and passionate traveler, photographer, and follower of Jesus Christ. She hopes to change the world’s perception with her photography, life, and designs.