Whenever I tell someone I recently returned from a year abroad, I usually get asked a series of the same questions about my time in London or about my travels. Here they are in case you’re tempted to ask me them ;)
Was the food bad?
For some reason, England has a bad reputation with food. According to the obnoxious American on my bus from Keukenhof to Leiden, all the English eat are fried foods. I think she got confused with the American stereotype! Back to the point: English food was delicious! Granted, the food in England can be light on vegetables and heavy in starches at time, but I still loved it: Sunday roasts, meat pies, mince pies, cider, and (as in London) food from every corner of the world. It was all delicious and did not live up to the stereotypes. In fact, I miss my English foods!
Do you have an English accent now?
Obviously, if you ask this question in person, you will see that I, in fact, did not acquire an English accent while abroad. Granted, I have changed a little of my vocabulary and the way I pronounce some words (I’m sorry, but saying ‘lift’ is much faster and better than saying ‘elevator’) and even though I find myself occasionally slipping into a sort of medley accent for some reason (usually after I’ve been watching my British television shows), I did not come back from London speaking in an English accent. I’m disappointed too, but it would be impossible.
Did you hate the weather?
I believe everyone I have talked to has asked either “did you hate the weather?” or “how much did it rain?”. Another English stereotype is that the weather is miserable. And for some reason, everyone thinks it pours every day.
Yes, it can get grey and rainy, but it’s not nearly as bad as people make it out to be. I can only speak for London, but it rarely pours (I can count maybe 3 times that it did) and stays pretty mild during the year (no snow this year). I’d say it was no worse than the weather I experience at Davidson. There were plenty of gorgeous, sunny days and plenty of perfect overcast, misty ones as well. There were some really foggy and incredibly windy days, but I didn’t mind them. It’s either not that bad or I’m just weird with the weather I enjoy.
Didn’t you miss home?
I didn’t miss home to the point of feeling like I absolutely needed to return. I would have moments of missing it occasionally (like when I lost someone special and couldn’t be there to grieve) but otherwise, I was too busy seeing Europe and having an amazing time to want to return that badly. Sorry, mom.
Was LSE hard?
Yes, as one of the top schools in the world, LSE was tough. Thankfully, Davidson prepared me well for the difficulty and I was able to adapt to the learning style relatively fast.
Did you meet someone?
Sorry everyone, but I didn’t find my English prince during my time abroad. Yes, it was
openly secretly one of my dreams, but I just couldn’t make it happen. I was too focused on school, friends, and travelling, unfortunately.
Are you dreading going back to Davidson?
I don’t know why, but many people seem to think that, because I enjoyed my time in London and at LSE so much, I am dreading returning to Davidson. I see where they’re coming from: why would I be happy to return to a place if it means leaving a place where I was so happy? They seem to forget that I love Davidson too. I spent a year to, yes, escape the Davidson bubble for a little while, but I also left only for a year and did not transfer. Words cannot describe how happy I am to finish up my undergraduate career at Davidson. In a little over a month (yikes!) I will get to see my best friends, chat with my favourite professors, take some amazing classes, and live in a little bubble for one last time.
Is it weird being back?
Yes: after living in a different country for 10 months, it was incredibly weird to pick up and move back to America. I had some bad culture shock and I had to adapt to a completely different routine. Not to mention, driving after 10 months of not driving and acclimating yourself to looking the opposite way when crossing streets is very scary!
I love talking about my experiences abroad, whether it be recounting tales or giving advice. So, even if you have these, or similar, returning home questions for me, I’ll be happy to answer them either in person, via Facebook, or through this blog! :)