Tales From Abroad: A Semester in Oxford Aug28


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Tales From Abroad: A Semester in Oxford

Study Abroad is an experience like no else. I have grown and learned in so many new ways over this semester. I have learned what communal living is all about and how to love people in such close quarters. I have learned although you may not know the language of the country you are in, kindness transcends all languages. I have learned what it means to be blissfully lost and the power and usefulness of public transportation (and wifi). As well as how to navigate foreign cities. I know the importance of working as a team and the necessity of making decisions. I know what it is like to sleep in an airport and to have a Austrian waiter yell at your dinner table. I have gained a great appreciation for the finer things in life such as water fountains and free public restrooms. I appreciate GREATLY personally owning my own washer AND dryer, in Texas. I appreciate the time and effort my professors go to grade more than 20 eight-page-papers. And I appreciate my housemates who have become my family away from home.

During my time in Oxford Fall Study Abroad 2016, I have had the pleasure of traveling to Sweden, Spain, Italy, Greece, Bulgaria, Northern Ireland, Austria, Germany, Ireland, France, and of course, the United Kingdom. Each experience has left me in awe of God and his vast creations. From the Bavarian Alps in Germany to the seashores of L’Escala, Spain, I have been mystified by the majesty of God. Sweden was the first excursion I went on. I was apprehensive about many things– the language barrier, using a new currency, and roaming a huge new city, but in the end everything fell into place. There is a value to spontaneity, I learned, that I had not wanted prior to Study Abroad. I like to have a plan and when that plan does not go my way, I tend to freak out. There were many times during Study Abroad that I did indeed freak out. However, there were also times that I had to learn t

o let the situation be what it will. A prime example was our departure

 from Sweden. We had not taken into account that Europe uses military time, and upon buying our tickets did not realize that 6:00 meant 6:00 AM not 6:00 PM. It was a sad mistake because for the next twelve or so hours we spent huddled up in a deserted airport. The departure mistake brought out many personalities in our group, however, we all managed to keep our heads on and band together to figure out what do when you completely miss your flight. Let me tell you, never again will I miss a flight due to misinterpretation of the ticket.

There are also so many joyful experiences I would love to tell you about. A few shortened fond memories of mine include: looking out over Oxford from our pint house window, seeing all of the little sheepies in Grasmere as well as seeing Wordsworth’s cottage, sleeping in a park in Stockholm, roaming the streets of Girona and watching the sun set over the city from the watchtower, buying art in Florence, riding four-wheelers on the Island of Aegina, walking across Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge and Giant’s Causeway, driving a BMW in Hallstatt and Berchtesgaden and getting to see the Austrian countryside, and every moment I got to spend with my friends. Study Abroad has been a life changing experience and I am ever thankful for the blessing of traveling and studying in Europe.