UMD: A Globally Connected University

Emily Fitzgerald

Program: UMD-Summer: United Kingdom: Literature, Art and Architecture in London
Term: Summerterm 2016

Studying abroad truly impacted me in ways that I could not have predicted or understood before I had gone. On my course we went to London where we attended plays, studied architecture, and experienced much that London and the United Kingdom had to offer. These experiences not only educated me, but taught me how to travel and really appreciate the places you visit. Before this trip I would look at a building or painting and say, "oh that looks nice!". But after this trip I learned to seek out the history and significance behind what I admire. This trip opened my eyes to how many wonderful stories and historical gems we have all around, and never care to ask about. The connections I made with other students while studying abroad were priceless, and now I have a new group of friends at Maryland to share these fantastic memories with!  In the course of 25 days I managed to grow and mature as an individual, which is pretty crazy!

Advice for future #TerpsAbroad: Remain open about the culture and the place which they are going to visit. Every country is different, and it is important to treat each place you visit with respect. Also not to expect to be staying in the nicest places, or be eating at the nicest restaurants, study abroad is not about luxury, it's about delving into another culture and learning all that you can!   ​

Being in London and learning in a new environment took the monotony out of classroom style learning. Instead we were walking around the city, being lectured on the sidewalks and blocking Londoners with our furious note taking. Making friends came easy on the trip, everyone was a little out of there comfort zone, and excited to be, so we bonded fast. Living outside of the United States meant adjusting to a new culture, and to new rules. Thankfully in London they had signs reminding tourists which way to look for traffic when crossing the street!​

 Advice for future #TerpsAbroad: While studying abroad you have so many opportunities to expand yourself and understanding of the world. While you are studying abroad keep in mind that you may never have an opportunity like this again. I was so lucky to be in another country, accompanied by a professor with a wealth of knowledge at my fingertips! Also, to be among such a wonderful, motivated group of students! I wish I could have realized how lucky I was! While studying abroad, make sure to make use of all the time you are given. Ask your professor questions, talk not only to the people on your trip but the people who live in the place you are visiting. A study abroad trip really is what you make of it. If you aren't there to learn and grow, then you won't, but if you are, than it will be one of the best experiences of your life!