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Study Abroad and Domestic Study Away

Notes from Abroad: Akeyla in England

Akeyla Newman ’19 is a major in English Writing who is studying in Nottingham, England, UK.

Hello, my name is Akeyla Newman and I am studying at Nottingham Trent University in Nottingham, England. This is my first experience studying abroad, thousands of miles away from home. Leading up to the day of my flight to England I was filled with intense anxiety. Just the thought of setting foot off American soil sounded almost impossible. For 20 years of my life I’ve lived in America (granted America is huge), but I had yet to experience the world outside the American bubble.

When I first arrived in Europe it all felt so surreal. The architecture was a mixture of modern and old, but preserved, buildings which I thought, and still think, is amazing. I’ve met so many people from around the world, with different cultures and languages. Greece, France, Spain, Austria, and Thailand just to name a few. Now that two months have passed and the feelings of uncertainty is gone I’ve become comfortable in my lifestyle here. The British accent, which there are many kinds of, has become easier to understand, driving on the left side doesn’t seem as strange and the intense passion for football (soccer) and rugby isn’t that weird. England, in some ways, is different yet similar to home. It’s always cold and windy in England, the same in Chicago. Reusable bags are really important in England, not yet in Chicago.
The class environment is really different. There are two separate session for a class: one for lecture and another for seminar. Most of the classes at Lake Forest College don’t have that schedule, possibly because it’s a way smaller institution, but I still find it hard to adjust to lecture, especially if it’s for two hours and all I have to do is listen and take notes. I love seminar because we get to discuss and share ideas. One last thing that I find really interesting about studying abroad is the way people perceive America. Hollywood is one of the biggest exports of America so you can just guess how they view American culture. The elevator is called the lift, the bathroom the loo and waiting in line is called a queue. Food expires rather quickly, because very little preservatives are used. Traveling is a lot cheaper and easier because everything is so close.

Although I miss home, I really love it here and I’m dreading the day I will have to leave. I never thought I would ever have the chance study abroad, but I’m happy that I did. This is something I wouldn’t have experienced if not for Lake Forest College excellent study abroad program and for the scholarship I received from G. Dale Smith, ’37 and Ruth Petersmith. I’m grateful that you have given me this opportunity.