You al’right, ciao, bonjour, yassou, ahoj,
Some of these words may ring a bell, others maybe not. Those happen to be different ways to say hello in places I have visited thus far, starting with the U.K. all the way to Czech. I’ll let you guess the others. Not to sound pretentious, but I consider myself to be a linguistic connoisseur. So it’s really entertaining for me to reflect on all of the places I’ve been and to compare each language. How some are so similar and how they are different, it is truly astounding how one communicates. How social interactions can be simple and refreshing, and yet awkward and uncomfortable. Social cues dos and don’ts makes every place I have visited so far interestingly different. Should I tip or should I not? Should I say thank you? Or is that too polite? Will this car stop if I walk across the intersection? It’s only 57 degrees (Fahrenheit. Sorry no Celsius for me, unless you want me to pull out my TI-84 )and everyone is wearing heavy coats and scarves; would it look weird if I just wore long sleeves? If I look at this souvenir for too long will they hassle me to buy it? Dumb questions, yes but you’d be surprised.
It’s perplexing to me how the world is conceivably large, yet here I am in the midst of discovering it. I’ve been in the U.K. for a little over a month now, and I’d be lying if I said the idea of being in another country alone was not frightening to me at first. Luckily it has been the complete opposite of that. Everyone has been friendly and very inviting. My first week here I had to calm down with going out places because there were so many things going on for “fresher” week. I still wouldn’t consider myself a “fresher” since I graduate in the Spring, but according to my U.K. companions, I am indeed, a “fresher.”
Classes have been interesting. Completely different style from back home, but I definitely expected that. Attending a prestigious uni is definitely intimidating. I mean, Ernest Rutherford did split the atom here!!? Considerably high expectations, but I am enjoying it. My courses are difficult and things are run at a faster pace, but the challenge is partly exhilarating. As a neuroscience/psychology major, I couldn’t have picked a better place to study. Some of my favorite courses so far are my psychology course that is studying the evolution of cognitive behavior and my sensory systems course which primarily consists of neuronal development and studying different action potentials. Senior year and I am finally in a course that heavily dissects my major…thanks education system.
Lastly traveling, so far I have been to Rome, Wales, York, Naples, Venice, Milan (kind of),Capri, Santorini, Mykonos, Athens, Prague, and Paris. Reading week-which is practically fall break- is next week. So you’ll have to see where I’m traveling next! Although my study abroad experience is not over, I am very thankful and truly blessed to have this opportunity. I also am very fortunate to experience something so grand, something I would have never imagined- especially at this age. Each time I travel there is new opportunity and unforgettable life experiences that I will cherish after this is all over. God truly has blessed me with a wonderful journey. Who knew the world was so vast? Each time I’m on a plane, I am reminded of how small I am and how large the world truly is. Different languages, cultures, and experiences all just a plane ride away. I am elated to continue exploring.