|PBA student Chloe Westrich studied abroad in London, England.|
|Chloe's PBA suitemates bake her a cake.|
Although it was easy congratulating my amazing roommate last fall for this incredible opportunity, it was disappointing to know our time as roommates was coming to an end. Chloe was definitely the glue that held all us suitemates together in the Flagler Towers dorm at PBA. She brought a special something to our suite with her bright smile and genuine personality. In celebration of her acceptance to the program, we baked a going away cake. It was difficult letting her leave, but throughout the semester we viewed her Facebook page, updated with happy photos and messages. Also, our entire suite contacted her through Skype on her birthday, which she spent in London, as well.
Chloe recently arrived safely back to the U.S. with lots of stories and experiences! Last weekend, I caught up with her after she settled down, back home, and she filled me in on her time in London. She explained:
|Chloe in a London phone booth.|
“Studying abroad in London was unlike any other experience I’ve had before. There were some real struggles in the beginning, but by the end of the semester I had fallen head-over-heels in love with the culture, the people, and all the exciting events happening around the city every day.
I was stretched in absolutely every way possible including: physically, emotionally, spiritually, and intellectually. I became familiar with another culture, but was also able to understand my own culture even better. I feel like I am walking away from this experience as a changed person: my mind has been opened to even more possibilities around the world and a brand new sense of adventure has been cultivated within me.
I have also been able to escape the typical American lifestyle of constantly rushing from one event to another, and really embrace a more slowed down lifestyle where I can really appreciate the people and events I encounter each day.
Some days I wake up and think to myself, 'Did that semester really just happen, or was all of this just a dream?' I am beyond thankful for the opportunities that I had, the people that I met, the breath-taking places I was able to see, and the once-in-a-lifetime experiences I had over the past four and a half months. I would highly recommend studying abroad to everyone.”
Although I had to share my roommate with London, I'm happy she had such a great life experience.
Have you ever thought about spending a semester abroad?