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Study Abroad and Domestic Study Away

Notes from Abroad: Medina in England

Medina Mahic ’20, a Psychology major and Legal Studies minor, is studying at the University of Chester in England.

My name is Medina Mahic and I’m a psychology major with a legal studies minor. I’m born and raised in Chicago and currently a junior at Lake Forest College.

But that’s enough about me, let me get started about my journey here in Chester, England as I’m studying at the University of Chester for a single semester.

The night before my flight is when everything felt surreal and anxiety was officially kicking in, I was leaving all my family and friends to study abroad to a country I have never been to. The best part about it all was that I would be traveling with my best friend and we were on this journey together.

Once I landed in Manchester, even though the airline misplaced one of my luggage’s, I didn’t let that ruin my mood. As I took a deep breath in and looked around me, I realized this was actually happening and it wasn’t just a dream anymore.

The city of Chester is truly breathtaking and it’s something I’ve never seen before. The city consists of historical buildings with original and unique architecture, full of people, guitars and violins being played, people singing and dancing to their beats, cafes at every angle, and many shopping stores. And I knew in that moment, that it felt like home.

Within the first week being here, I had the chance to visit Manchester and Liverpool. Both of which are popular cities known for soccer, or as they would say “football” here.

Three cities all close to one another, but all different in their own ways. Liverpool has its unique shopping centers and the original spot where The Beatles originated, while Manchester has a four floor “National Football Museum” which holds historical and memorable moments within football.

But the main focus… school. Let’s just say I was very nervous with having brand new professors and trying to find the buildings to my classrooms.

In the UK, the students receive their bachelor’s degree in 3 years but have classes for a full year, unlike us.

The professors prefer to be called by their first name- rather than “professor”, classes are once a week but last 2 hours, and the lecture halls are huge! Coming from a small school like Lake Forest to a university that has about 14,000 students is a big difference. My classes have over 100 students, which makes group work and lectures much more interesting.

With being in the UK, airplane tickets are much cheaper to fly anywhere in Europe. So far, I have booked trips to London, Portugal, Spain, Germany, and France. This is a once in a life time opportunity and I do not plan on wasting it!

I feel truly blessed and grateful for this opportunity. Thank you to the Suzanne T. Hotchkiss Foreign Travel Grant, my wish of studying abroad has finally come true.  And I can proudly say that I’m enjoying every single minute of it.