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Notes from Abroad: Devin in London
Notes from Abroad is a new feature on the Off-Campus Programs website, in which we highlight small snippets of a student’s experience. This week’s feature is from Devin Tyler ’17, a Business major and a minor in Political Science currently studying abroad in London.
Note From Abroad:
Hello, my name is Devin Tyler and I am currently a junior studying at Richmond, the American International University in London. As my time here wraps up, I can reflect on such an amazing semester that I have been afforded. This was my first time leaving out of the United States, so with this experience came a sense of hesitancy and reservation. I was extremely nervous about adapting into a new culture, as well as being so far from home. Despite these minor barriers, I quickly integrated into my school’s culture.
London is home to a rich and diverse community of people. From the faculty that have taught all over the globe, to the non-study abroad students, I was immersed in a life-changing experience. What was most significant during my time in the program was the level of diversity here. Students came from around the world and brought their cultures with them. It is through this experience that I’ve realized the importance of having an open mind to new ideas, foods, entertainment, and political points of view. The people here have taught me how to enjoy life to the fullest and use every opportunity as a chance to learn something new. Additionally, in the classroom, I have been challenged to express my thoughts and arguments in a way that makes sense to those that do not share a U.S background. What seemed to be basic knowledge to me did not easily transcribe to others. This required me to learn how to articulate my point in a different scope.
Overall, I have truly enjoyed my study abroad experience. It has been a time of personal reflection and growth. There have been many days where I became homesick and missed some of the basic luxuries in the U.S, but those days were eclipsed by the day to day adventures afforded to me while abroad. I will truly miss and cherish my time here in London. Whether trying an authentic Japanese restaurant, or shamelessly wondering historic Trafalgar square, London has given me a whole new perspective on life. Upon returning home, I am going to carve out more time to learn in untraditional settings—exploring the cultures around me and trying different points of view. Studying abroad has been one of the best decisions in my life and I hope that other students will capitalize on this opportunity as well.
Stretch out of your comfort zone; trust me, it’s worth it!