What seems like yesterday, I packed my bags and flew nearly 4,000 miles across the world, leaving behind the comforts of home to experience a new culture and way of life. On September 1st, 2011 my plane touched down in London, England, leaving me breathless at the first glimpse of this magnificent city. My eyes remained glued to the window as our coach soared down the left side of the motorway, swiftly passing by hundreds of beautiful buildings from various time periods and making our way into the heart of the city. It was on this day, over three months ago, that I fell in love with London. I was recently asked by a friend to describe my experience in two simple words. Immediately I responded with “Life Changing”. As I recap my semester abroad, I can’t help but get emotional, as I’m well aware that my time is running short. While there have been times that I miss St. Norbert College and life in Wisconsin, I am absolutely terrified to return home. I comfort myself in knowing that this will not be my last time in London, and it gives me great motivation to finish strong at SNC in hopes of securing a full time position here. My experience abroad has completely altered my outlook on life, allowing me to better understand and connect with other cultures and people from all around the world. Every single day I spend here, I do my absolute best to take nothing for granted. I appreciate every red double-decker bus, every phone booth, the cobblestone streets, the beautiful architecture, the energy throughout the streets, and even the rain.
Throughout the semester I was granted the luxury of traveling throughout Europe, and even to Africa. While I greatly enjoyed Germany, Ireland, France, Spain, Amsterdam, Wales, and Morocco, upon every return to London I experienced that “Its good to be home” feeling. My appreciation for the beautiful city of London grew with every holiday. Along with my appreciation for London, I grew as an individual, learning many valuable life lessons while building lifelong friendships with people all over the world. I cannot begin to express how grateful I am for this experience, as it has truly made me a better and stronger individual. While all good things must come to an end, I will forever cherish my study abroad experience.
KJ Scribner is studying abroad in London, England, with the Foundation for International Education (FIE).