UMD: A Globally Connected University

Gessica Fleurival

Gessica Fleurival

Program: UMD Exchange: University of Manchester
Term: Spring 2015
Major: Community Health & Family Science

My study abroad experience opened up a new world for me. I became more independent and self reliant and learned how to adapt to different cultures and different people. It gave me a different perspective on how others may view my own culture as well.

Despite my assumptions it was difficult to adapt to a new culture. Although the United Kingdom is a part of the western world there were many aspects that took me by surprise. After overcoming my initial culture shock I came to embrace my new surroundings.  Everyday was filled with an adventure. Even doing something as simple as taking a trip to the local grocery store was a new experience. 

Advice for future #TerpsAbroad: As a woman of color, I would advise students to be very open minded and not to fear rejection based on skin color, sexual orientation or religion. No one place is perfect and there may be times where you may face unruly people, but do not let that dictate or ruin your experience. Remember you are what you make out of your experience so make sure you enjoy it! Studying abroad is a life changing experience, and one that you will never forget. The only thing I wish I new before studying abroad is not to pack to so much, seriously I brought way too much stuff!