Ohio University – Communications
Four weeks have never passed as fast as they did in London. The black cab drivers sped down the street. The tube hissed past. Suddenly, before I could pronounce Leicester Square correctly, there I was standing on the sidewalk, with all my bags packed, in a state of shock that I would be traveling back to Akron, Ohio in a few hours.
The decision to study abroad was an easy one for me. I always knew that I wanted the experience, and because my parents both loved to travel, they encouraged me along the way. As soon as I arrived in London, however, I suddenly felt like I had been dropped on a life-size Monopoly board. I had read about Oxford Street, Marylebone High Street, and Bedford Place repeatedly before arriving, and now all of them finally had a face.
With each roll of the dice or each new experience, I met people from various parts of the world with different stories and backgrounds. On excursions such as the overnight in Brugge, Belgium, I got to become friends with people on the trip that weren't necessarily in my classes or living in the same building. At the beginning of the trip, my friend Christina and I found ourselves on a bus with a bunch of strangers, but by the end of the weekend, all the faces were familiar and friendly.
The lessons that both of my professors taught me went beyond the classroom. Both of them shared stories from their travels abroad and their professional lives within marketing and public relations. My classes were only four weeks long, so there was a lot of information packed in at one time. The professors took an effective interactive approach that was feasible through the small classroom environment that allowed us the extra time to get-out-of-jail-free or sneak in a few tourist attractions the night before class.
Unlike a monopoly game, at the end of the game I had no money, but I had acquired so much that I knew that I had won. In a short amount of time, my travels and studies had taught me more than just what was written in my books, but mostly about life and myself. Walt Disney once said, "All our dreams can come true if we have the courage to pursue them." Studying abroad helped me follow my dreams, and opened my eyes to a world beyond the United States and simple board games. It led me to a world of opportunity.
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