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4 Ways Study Abroad Changed Me

Last semester, I studied abroad at the University of Sussex in the vibrant city of Brighton, U.K. and these four things happened to me.


I Became More Independent

I traveled quite a bit to London where I had to take the train. I learned to book train tickets. I also did some overnight trips to Edinburgh and Oxford. This was the first time I booked hotels. Before my semester abroad, my parents would book my plane tickets back home for school break. Now, I book them myself. This past spring break, I went to New York to do an externship and I was on my own. Last year, my father stayed with me when I was doing an externship.

I Found A Group of People Who I Can Call My Best Friends

I met so many people from all over the world and it was really cool to have these friends I otherwise would not have met. I found my best friends through having deep and honest conversations with them either in the common room or on the bus to university. We’ve been staying in contact with each other and I’m very happy to say our interactions are still as intensive. We’re even thinking of seeing each other in the near future whether it be in Europe or the States. 

I Learned More About My Home Culture

The people I met from different countries shared with me their insights on American culture. One of my friends from Europe talked about how the cities in America are very big and chaotic and that the work culture sounds very overwhelming—there’s a pressure to land a job right after you graduate from college. In Europe, you have a safety net if you don’t land a job on time. You don’t even have to start working until a few years after you graduate from college. It’s very interesting to try to see your own culture from a foreigner’s perspective. 

I Grew Fond of The Place I Lived in for A Couple of Months

At first, I thought studying abroad in Europe was about squeezing in as many weekend trips to other countries as possible. While I’m glad to have done some traveling, I realized I was the most fond of Brighton—the rocky beach, the colorful bathhouses, the quirky shopping district, and the sunsets. For me, I enjoyed spending time with my friends whether it be in the city, the clubs, the pubs, or the primitive hotel we stayed in. I associate Brighton with people who make this city amazing. I can’t wait till I go back to visit. 

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