Tuesday, 6 December 2011

Prepare for Boarding

There are too many things to say as I fight my souvenirs into my suitcase. So, for lack of a better goodbye, I’ll condense everything I feel and learn into a list…or two…one for the good and one for the not-so-goods about studying abroad at Harlaxton.

The Good

1. Harlaxton is a great base camp for travel
2. Harlaxton allows you to relax (USA!)
3. 3 Months abroad allows you to enjoy leisure time and not feel like you need to cram everything in
4. Being from UE, I immediately had something in common with a majority of the students
5. The course-load isn’t that bad
6. Meet-a-Family (while I didn’t do it), according to most, is a very positive and worthwhile experience
7. All of the staff (the grounds crew, maintenance people, and drivers) are very friendly
8. You can choose how much you want to spend, and if you’re smart you can do a lot with a little
9. My outlook on American culture and our future has become more optimistic
10. I’m well prepared to travel anywhere!

The Not-so-Good

1. The food…no offense, Refectory, but we’re not used to potatoes and rice 5 times a week
2. Grantham has a fun nightlife, but besides that and ASDA there isn’t much to do (and it’s expensive to get into town once the shuttle stops)
3. 3 Months is a long time
4. Travelling is exhausting, but well worth your time, except when you have to balance it with school work
5. While the Bistro offers an alternative for going out and a fine study break, it breaks the bank and is only open on weeknights
6. The school-sponsored journeys are over-priced field trips, but allow you to travel with lots of people and not deal with logistical issues
7. The exchange rate blows…
8. Yes, it is comfortable to be around Americans, but if you’d prefer to study with more immersion I’d pick somewhere else
9. These…walls…are…closing…in
10. Packing sucks

This list is nowhere near exhausted and is comprised of only my personal opinion. As I prepare to depart for home the great experience I’ve had is starting to all come back to me. Living in the UK has made the greatest semester of my life happen, and as I look back I’m glad to know my experiences will only become more apparent as time passes.

-Brennan Girdler

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