Rich: having a great deal of money or assets OR plentiful and abundant
I left California thinking I was a well-rounded, well-travelled, rich (the second part of the definition) person. I couldn’t have been more wrong. Many of us create and collect our opinions, we determine what we value, and we decide who we want to spend our time with (as well as where we spend it) based on the environments we’re raised in. We – sometimes subconsciously – inherit these things from those that came before us: grandparents, parents, aunts, uncles, siblings, friends, etc. It’s safe and comfortable to believe and continue living within the “familiar”, and I’ve learned that there’s really nothing wrong with that. However, those that do seek and find the opportunity to travel come to know richness much greater than material or monetary items can provide.
Don’t get me wrong, I spent plenty of money to get to these places that so greatly enhanced my life — but that’s just it — I don’t regret a penny I’ve spent. Through both group adventures and solo trips, I saw places so rich in history that I was brought to tears. I met people that made me rethink all 24 years of what I thought I believed in, and how I thought I wanted to live my life. I gained perspective on how big the world really is, and how little time we have to explore it. I had conversations that challenged me, I let go of insecurities that I’d been holding so tightly to, and I began to truly feel like I was living authentically. These are things that I fight every day to hold on to (old habits die hard).
There is something uniquely freeing about living or traveling in a foreign country and soaking up the cultural differences that constantly surround (and often surprise) you. It’s a time in your life that you’ll probably never be able to reciprocate. Life goes on, and we’re expected to work, raise families, and then maybe travel again at a much later age. Studying abroad (and being open while you do it) allows you to redefine how you want to live those upcoming years. I’m not suggesting to drop everything you’ve been raised to believe in when you’re in the United Kingdom, but I am challenging you to be open to a different way of life. Sure, there are similarities between America and England (and the surrounding UK), but you’ll be able to experience countless unfamiliar (and possibly uncomfortable) things that can add this true richness to your life. Allow yourself to embrace the differences, and to be open to adding new ways of thinking, feeling, observing, communicating, appreciating, and loving the people, places, and things around you.
I left England with much less money than I arrived with, but my heart had never been so full — nor will it ever be the same. To find out more about studying in the UK, please contact us using the form opposite.