Given the opportunity to study abroad was one of the best choices of my life. I have had the most amazing 4 months anyone could ask for. Traveling to a country here takes less time on a flight than it takes me to drive up to St. Norbert from home. To say I have been to seven countries in four months is unbelievable and I have memories to last a lifetime.
This time abroad has allowed me to meet my family in Ireland that I have never met before, as well as visit one of my roommates in Dublin where she is studying abroad. I can now say I have been to Oktoberfest and had my stein of beer and a German pretzel in the Hofbrau tent with people from all over the world. My parents were able to visit, and I can say I have toured around the city of Paris with them and have pictures under the Eiffel Tower that will last a lifetime. I have been on a gondola ride in Venice, Italy as well as threw a coin to make a wish in the Trevi Fountain in Rome all in the same week. My roommate Emily and I ventured to Scotland to hang with Nessie in Loch Ness for a weekend. The last of my travels concluded with visiting Krakow as well as Auschwitz Birkenau. Touring the concentration camp sites was a very historical and moving experience that words cannot describe.
During all my travels I have also learned so much about other cultures and countries. I have met people from all over the world, and it has been fascinating to learn words in other languages as well as hear them discuss their culture. Hearing people talk about they love the US and how they long to visit makes you realize how great it will be to return home. This has been the best adventure I could ever ask for, and it has been with some great people. It is a little overwhelming to think about living with 13 other people, but Norbs Nation got along great and all grew closer.
If anyone asks me if they should study abroad my answer is a definite yes. These 4 months have allowed me to do things I never imagined I would say I have done. This has been a life changing experience and is one I will never forget. It is going to be a bittersweet farewell to London as I am excited to go home and see family and friends, but very sad to leave this fascinating life of other cultures and countries. The second I have enough money to return, I will do so. So goodbye London, and see you in a little over a week America!!
Brianna Simkowski is studying abroad in London, England, with the Foundation for International Education (FIE).